Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Act 3; Scene 41: Painting Project: Check!

For the past two weekends we have been laboriously painting our house.

Well, the living room, dining area, and kitchen.

Whose idea was it to paint the kitchen around all of those nooks and crannies and molding? Oy!

Anyway, here are some "before" pictures from when the previous owners lived here:

Lovely yellow-ish cream underscored by forest green two-toned.

More yellowish creamy goodness.

And here is our take on the living and eating areas of this house:

It's a very cloudy day so a little hard to see in this picture...but the gray and white is so much better and brighter! Notice how much bigger the window looks with the curtains up much higher, as well.

Ah, that's better. Obviously behind in the decorating factor, but the paint is awesome!

Bright white kitchen windows

The kitchen is much brighter with the new white background

And this giant white wall might be a little too white...but it looks very bright and clean  

I think I need to take some more pictures when there is better light, but I couldn't wait to show it off! There was a definite learning curve to the painting (like don't back into the wall!)
 but overall I think we did a pretty great job.

And now to show off my best DIY project yet--the kitchen chalk board!

Why yes, I did make that. I spray painted the frame, had masonite cut at Home Depot and painted it with chalk board paint, and there you have it.

Now...on to the yard (yikes)!

Happy Home Improvement :-)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Act 3; Scene 40: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

True to form, I had to try one of my many Pinterest holiday ideas for St. Patrick Day neighbor treats!

So I went for these: candy-coated pretzels in shaped like shamrocks!

Well, that's how they were supposed to look. Here are how mine turned out:

granted, these were some of the worst looking ones

But overall, I think the treat baggies turned out looking pretty cute. And they tasted DELICIOUS. Who doesn't like chocolate candy-coated pretzels?!?

I also had a *sort of* St. Patty's Day dinner planned for us.


I had spent so much time creating pretzel shamrocks, I failed to note that I missed one crucial item for our dinner. We were supposed to have four leaf clover quiche....but the way it worked out I couldn't shape it, so it turned into just regular quiche. And then I didn't have quite the right ingredients for the whole quiche, so after some substituting and adding, as well as accidentally making the dough for two quiche crusts into one quiche crust...this is what we came up with:

And...it was surprisingly amazing! Who knew quiche could be so forgiving? And do you see that giant crust full of two sticks of butter? The quiche oozed so much that the cookie sheet was covered in a layer of buttery grease. Let me tell you--that crust is de.li.cious. Just don't think about what you're eating. :-)

Here's to our St. Patty's Feast! Quiche with a lemonade/sprite/pineapple green drink!

...Not much of a feast, right? Oh well. We had snacked on TONS of pretzels the rest of the day.

Maybe next year we'll get a four leaf clover quiche. Or not. But we will definitely be making more quiche in the future!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Act 3; Scene 39: Lots of Pie!

We had a big event planned last night for "Pi Day."

It was going to be our first time having friends from our new ward over to our house. We invited four couples--three of which also have one baby boy! We knew the timing would be a bit tricky with the babies, but we thought we would try because, after all, Pi Day only happens once a year!

But yesterday, one by one, our wardies started bailing. A family photo shoot; car troubles in Salt Lake; terrible morning sickness; and then, at 7pm came the final news--fussy and tired baby.

So.....no one could come. And I had one pie in the fridge, and one in the oven, and games ready to go. I'm glad I decided to only have two pies instead of three!

Fortunately, my dear friend (who is expecting...you guessed it! a baby boy!) was home alone thanks to tax season and we cajoled her into coming over and eating pie and drawing some pi pictures.

The game was: what can you make out of "pi"?

A mushroom!
Thomas really liked playing with the paper
Lauren working on her creation
My fuzzy monster pi thing
Lauren's pi horse!
And of course I forgot to take a picture of us eating the pie...so here is the berry pie, almost ready to put in the fridge!

Hope you all had a lovely Pi Day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Act 3; Scene 38: Best Friends!

At least we're hoping they will be.

They're only 6 days apart, and their moms and dads are good friends. A match made in heaven, right?

They just have to learn how to play with each other. :-)

I'd say it's a promising start. At least William can giggle about it :-)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Act 3; Scene 37: The Perks of Motherhood

It was the first Sunday in January, and consequently the first testimony meeting in our new ward in Lehi. The new 9:00 meeting schedule was presenting its challenges for us with the baby and his naps, but at this particular moment my attention was not focused solely on Tommy, and I was able to hear a testimony that I have been thinking about ever since.

A woman got up and explained that they had just celebrated the first birthday of their adopted baby boy. On that happy day, this woman thought a lot about the day that their baby was born--especially about his birth mother. The labor was apparently very long and challenging, and the birth mother very slight in build--needless to say, a hard labor. She thought of this mother bearing her child and then sending him into the loving arms of different parents (that is a whole story of its own to be commented on--but not the focus of this post). She thought of the challenge it would be, and the charity involved for this woman to bear her child, and not be able to enjoy any of the "perks of motherhood."

Let me back up for a minute here--I was hearing this phrase just after we had moved in. Moving was a very stressful time for us--as I have learned, nothing really goes according to perfect plan when you move. The baby must have been able to feel that as well, because he had started becoming extremely fussy and wasn't napping well or sleeping well. The past few weeks had involved Tommy waking up every hour and a half at night, screaming--it had also involved numerous hours of us trying to let him "cry it out" (if you have ever tried this, you know how excruciating those hours are). It involved fussy days and not-so-restful naps. It involved bouts with mastitis. It involved us moving to my parents for a few days while we waited to be able to move in and deep clean the new house. It involved us going back to my parents' for Christmas only 4 days after moving in. It involved so much crying and frustration. It involved nearly all of Tommy's happy moments spent playing with Grandma or uncles, and mom feeling like a feeding machine and a cry-it-out monster.

So as I heard her talk about the "perks of motherhood," I lifted my bleary eyelids and sorted out my tired, frustrated mind enough to ask, "Perks of motherhood? What are these perks of which you speak?"

I had always viewed mothers in sort of a goddess-like view. Mothers are patient and kind, and having kids makes you become selfless and sweet and caring. As mothers you love your baby like nothing else and can't even contain that love inside of you. Mothers can do anything and everything.

I couldn't help thinking in that moment how false all of that was. All of it! Becoming a mother had definitely NOT made me selfless and sweet and caring. I was definitely NOT feeling that all-encompassing love that I couldn't contain inside myself. I definitely could NOT do anything and everything. All motherhood had done to me was pull up all of the bad things that I didn't know I had hidden inside of me and throw them in my face. Motherhood had only made me aware of how impatient, selfish, and high strung I was.

The "Perks of Motherhood?"

Fast forward to now, almost 3 months later. Things have calmed down here quite a bit--we're mostly moved in and feeling settled. Tommy is back to sleeping peacefully through the night (knock on wood!!!--I just have to interject here--it took me two days to write this post, and right after writing this paragraph Tommy woke up three times in the night. I should have literally knocked on wood! LOL). Although napping is still inconsistent, it is much better and more stable than before. Ever since I have heard that testimony, I have been thinking about that phrase--the "perks of motherhood." I have been looking for them and finding them in my life. I can say right now, that looking back to that very stressful time and being able to say "It gets better--it won't last forever" is a perk of motherhood. 

Wanting to show off my cute baby's smile for friends/family, and all he will do is stare them down or grimace the whole time they are there no matter what we do. Then as soon as they leave, he looks up at me and gives me a huge grin that he must have been saving just for me--he obviously didn't want to share it with anyone else. That is a perk of motherhood.

Watching my baby open his mouth as wide as he possibly can and go cross eyed looking at the spoon heaping full of food about to go into the abyss is a perk of motherhood.

Hurrying at the grocery store (to make it home by nap time, of course!), I look down at my baby in his car seat perched on the cart and smile at him, and he gives me one of his rare and goofy getting tired giggles. That is a perk of motherhood.

Because I are around him all the time and read him a story every time it's time for a nap or for bed, he starts to pick up on how to turn the pages, and I noticed it. Now he eagerly turns the pages back and forth. Watching that learning process is a perk of motherhood.

Being excited about changing a poopy diaper because he hasn't pooped for a while and I were getting worried about constipation/dietary problems is a perk of motherhood (I mean, isn't it a good thing that I can be excited about something like that?!)

Watching how he lights up when Daddy gets home and starts screeching with excitement is a perk of motherhood. Watching Daddy's face light up the exact same way is one, too.

Catching my baby so focused on a certain toy (usually something as exciting as a draw string or an empty tupperware...) that I can almost literally see his brain working as he scrunches in his chin, pokes out his bottom lip, and fingers the object over and over is a perk of motherhood.

Being able to dress him up in a darling newsies cap and vest is a perk of motherhood.

The perks of motherhood are all over the place. And you know, even though they show up about 30-40% of the time, they are somehow so special that they overpower the other 60-70% of frustration, tiredness, and not-knowing-what-in-the-h-to-do, even if they are the simplest little things. I realize that I say this today, and that tomorrow when he has woken up early and is screaming it will be harder for me to say that. So I will say it while I can--the "perks" outweigh the "downs"! 

Something else I have discovered in the past few months thinking about this, is that the more I notice and label things as "perks of motherhood," the more I am able to enjoy them at the time and recall them when the hard times come. So this is the challenge--to look everywhere for the "perks of motherhood" and live it up. I'll be sharing some of mine here, and I challenge the rest of you moms to share yours, too, wherever/however you please.

And if you've made it this far on the post, you're a trooper.

Keep an eye out for those perks!