Teller and Nixon are 10 Months Old!

I can’t believe my babies are in the double digits—10 months! Where does the time go? I know it’s so cliche to say, but yes, time does fly. If I’d recap these past 10 months with one word, I’d have to say Growth! Aaron and I have grown so much as parents and our babies, my gosh, they have grown leaps and bounds in so many ways.

10 Months Old Update

10 Months Old Update

For our babies, they are inching their way towards toddler-dom and I am mourning the baby period. They are mobile, they have opinions, they have personalities. Who took our babies and dropped off these tiny humans?

10 Months Old Update

TELLER AT 10 MONTHS

10 Months Old Update

Teller is 19 pounds of pure independence. He has my personality to a T. He plays so well by himself, steal toys from his brother and thinks its hilarious to avoid kisses from his mother. This is the kid that gives me a stone-cold face at school pick-up (see photo below) and instead hugs his teacher. So naughty! And SO silly. He loves to SCREAM and SCREECH and laugh and just generally have a great time. When he kisses, he opens his whole mouth and attacks my nose and mouth and it’s just the cutest thing ever. Nighttime is our special time together and when I get in all of my snuggles and hugs.

10 Months Old Update

10 Months Old Update

Teller is OK with crawling but pulling up, cruising and just generally scaring his mother to death is the name of his game. He pulls himself up on anything he can get his grip on—the wall, the ottoman, a random box, anything. NO FEAR. When he falls over, he gets back up with no tears and keeps moving.

Teeth: None yet!

Favorite hobbies: making dophin-like clicking noises with his tongue, screeching at full volume, saying “momma” and “dada”, grabbing cords, gnawing on my leg, eating Puffs, sleeping through the night, pulling himself up on unstable items and tackling his brother.

Nicknames: TG, Teller Man, TT

NIXON AT 10 MONTHS

10 Months Old Update

Nixon is 20 pounds of pure love. This boy is just like his father. A complete extrovert and flirt, this little man wants closeness, hugs and kisses every minute of the day. When he meets new people, he does this silly little “I’m shy” move where he buries his head into my neck and then pops back up and gives his greeter a big grin. He rotates between being a momma’s boy and a daddy’s boy, it just depends on how he’s feeling. He’s a sensitive little thing and just generally super sweet.

10 Months Old Update

Nixon started crawling first a few weeks ago, and now he’s all over the house. Unlike his brother, pulling up on things isn’t nearly as interesting. He’s more likely to crawl towards people than toys. Unless it’s a laptop cord—which is like crack for both of my kids. LOL.

10 Months Old Update

Teeth: Three! Two on top, one on bottom. He thinks it’s great fun to clack them together.

Favorite hobbies: Using mom and dad as a jungle gym, hugs, acting shy, laptop cords, clacking his teeth together, saying “dada” and “momma”, eating puffs, waking up at midnight, being rocked to sleep, putting things into his mouth that he shouldn’t, crawling underneath chairs, toys, jumpers.

Nicknames: Nicky Nix, Nicky, Nix Nix, Nix Nix Peeped the Chicks (from this book)

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Aaron and I have grown so much as parents. In those early months, we were still holding on to our “old” lives. We’d always say, “Remember when we could do this?” or “Wouldn’t it be so nice to do that?” etc. We’re so far past that now. We’ve embraced this new life of ours… and with joy! We’re parents, we have kids and we’ve found new ways to have a great time. I know there’s some corny quote that applies here about adjusting our sails.

10 Months Old Update

One thing that’s helped is we have a rule that we don’t complain about being tired. It’s pointless! And it’s boring to talk about. Yes, we’re tired. OF COURSE WE ARE. But this is our new normal. Saying we’re tired is like saying we’re humans who breathe and blink. NO DUH. Next topic please!

Our family’s biggest challenge in the last few months is dealing with germs and our babies’ immature immune systems. Thank you cold and flu season! We are ALWAYS sick. ALWAYS. Both the babies and Aaron and I. In the past three weeks, we’ve had two double ear infections, pink eye, stomach flus, bronchiolitis, bronchitis, sore throats and just general congestion. And it never happens at the same time. First Teller goes down and then Nixon a few days later. Something that should last for a few days we are dealing with for weeks for that reason. It’s hard! And we’ve both missed a ton of work because of it. Poor Aaron just spent two days in the hospital for peritonsillar abcesses. He’s recovered now but it was not fun on so many levels. Thank god for great grandparents who swoop in to save ALL of us.

But I know that it’s just a phase and we will all be healthy before we know it. I cannot wait for Spring and Summer! And I’m looking forward to those rockstar immune systems in a few years. :) For now, it’s all about adapting. If you’ve seen me lately, you know I’ve been carting around my goody bag full of “feel better” stuff for the babies. We’re essentially snot managers at this point. Ha! Here is what we’ve been using.

10 Months Old Update

As you can see, we use a TON of natural saline on the boys and our favorite brand is Boogie Wipes (and the Boogie Mist too!). This stuff is the nectar of life—seriously! The secret to Boogie Wipes is the saline. All-natural saline is an awesome and safe solution for breaking up and dissolving the crust and boogs on their little noses. There is Aloe, Chamomile and Vitamin E inside… it’s a patented formula, which soothes the redness and irritation too. You can read more about the ingredients here.

10 Months Old Update

And oh my gosh, do you guys use the NoseFrida? We are TWICE a day over here with the boys. Our pediatrician recommended saline spray pre-NoseFrida to get a nice productive suction. (I can’t believe I just typed that…. gross!) But it’s true and it works so well. And yes, I use all of the Boogie Wipe and Boogie Mist products on myself. And maybe the Nose Frida, too. 😉

You can also visit Boogie Wipes website for a free coupon!

xo,
emily

This post is sponsored by Boogie Wipes, but all opinions are completely my own!

Kitchen Island Lights

I had a couple of things on my wish list for kitchen island lights: unique, black metal, black cord and less than $100. It took me forever to find something, mainly because I’ve got champagne taste on a beer budget. But! But! I finally came across these Pikesville pendants from Lamps Plus’ outlet site, Open Box (I’ve posted before about that secret resource). The kitchen in the stock photo is horrific though, so it completely messed with my mind: Are the lights too 90’s? Too weird? I held my breath and clicked purchase.

And drum roll… I like them!

Kitchen Island Lights

Kitchen Island Lights
The reason these lights initially caught my eye was for two reasons: 1.) I needed something of the oak-color variety (a yellowish/tan/orange) to tie in with my roller shades and 2.) Something dark was needed to tie in with the floors. And bonus! They also look real nice with the new color of the front door. I totally planned that…
Kitchen Island Lights
They also look really great next to the yellow chairs around our dining room table. Happy, happy, happy.  
Kitchen Island Lights
And now if we can only get the rest of the room to shape up, I’ll feel even better. I mention this in my 2016 house goals post, but my biggest task this year will be to get this kitchen painted.

I do love the gray color (it’s Phoenix Fossil by Sherwin Williams), but the dark color, with all the white doors (three on one wall within 15 ft of each other), all the windows, the big bumpout in the ceiling (which you can see in the photo below), etc., makes everything look so chaotic! It makes my eyes/brain hurt. 

Kitchen Island Lights

Painting everything the same color as the trim and doors will make everything feel continuous and calm. By calming down the walls, it will let me get a little funky with the cabinets (painting!) and decor, which I have been dying to do!

And of course, maybe it feels chaotic because it IS chaotic. Here’s an IRL photo of the kitchen as I was taking the photos. Confession: I just move the crap from corner to corner as I shoot to get it out of the way. Can’t escape it in this wide angle shot. :)

Kitchen Island Lights

Yay for progress! It feels good.

xo,

emily

Living Big After Years of Living Small

I was asked to write about this topic quite a while ago, but I didn’t feel like I had any information/experience at the time to write a detailed post. Now, at over a year of living in our “big” house after living in our 900 sq. ft. home for the last 7 years… well I’ve got some thoughts.

Before we begin, some caveats on my usage of the words “big” and “small.” Everyone quantifies these words differently so here’s my definition. For me, “living big” refers to our 1600 square foot home we live in now, with three floors, three bathrooms as well as a basement. And “small” refers to our previous home, which was an 900 square foot home with two bedrooms and one bath.

So here are my observations:

I STILL CRAVE SMALL

Living Big After Living Small
This is perhaps my biggest “ah-ha” over the last year. With lots of space and rooms in our current house, I find myself gravitating towards the smallest spaces in the house. It’s soothing and it makes it feel more like home. After the boys go to bed and I need a little time to unwind, I’m often in the guest room, which is our smallest bedroom. When I’m in the kitchen, I tend to still stick to the small corner nook between the fridge and the oven, despite the big island for prep. Close walls are comforting, likely because it’s what I’ve been used to for much of my adult life!

EVERYTHING IS SO FAR AWAY

Living Big After Living Small
Before, if I needed Chapstick or some lotion while in the living room, I could reach back from my spot on the couch and grab it off my bedroom dresser. I’m laughing as I’m writing this because this may just turn into a Confessions of a Lazy Person post ha. In this new house, I’m constantly at battle with the stairs… up/down, up/down… as I make my way through the house grabbing what I need. And in the morning, when I’m late trying to get out the door with work, there’s always something upstairs that I’ve forgotten.

OUR GUESTS CAN GET COMFORTABLE

Freshly Painted Guest Bedroom
In our old house, having people over could get awkward. There wasn’t much space to mingle (my living room furniture set-up was also at fault) and most of the time we’d all end up huddled together in the kitchen. Which would have been fine, but there was only seating for 3-4 comfortably. And overnight guests? Forget it. We had a few, but the tight sleeping arrangements plus the bathroom situation (jack and jill between the guest bedroom and our “master”) was always really tough. Now, they’ve got their own space, their own bathroom, etc.

MORE TIME, MORE MONEY, MORE EFFORT

Living Big After Living Small
Time, money and effort all saw a huge increase when we moved to the bigger place. Before, I could deep clean our little house in about two hours. Now? Well first, there is no deep cleaning happening these days (no way!) but a standard cleaning takes days! Floors one day, bathrooms the next, etc. It’s just a lot of work.

Dealing with the size of our home really hit me in the Fall when the leaves had finally fell off the trees. This is usually the time where we’re up on a ladder cleaning gutters. At our old place, which was just one level, this was an easy task I could do myself with a standard ladder. But now? I would have to have a death wish to clean out our gutters. We had to pay someone to do it! To the tune of $200. Yeesh.

I DON’T KNOW WHERE ANYTHING IS

Living Big After Living Small
In the smaller house, we did not have the luxury of storage. Everything was designed and organized perfectly to fit a small space. For example, nearly all of the cords, markers, envelopes and typical oddball things had a home in the under-desk set of drawers in our office/bedroom. So obviously, it was easy to find everything. Today, our crap is all over the house in random storage spots. We’ve got the junk drawer in the kitchen (never had one of those before!), the drawers in the bathrooms, the shelves in the closets…. there is just random stuff everywhere. Getting organized, re-streamlining and defining spots for each thing is a big goal for 2016. I’d rather avoid going into a Hulk rage over an iPad charger again. Sigh.

WE GET TO STRETCH OUR LEGS

I’m not saying that literally, but you know what I mean. It has been so nice to have the flexibility of more space. If I want to work on some sewing, but I don’t want to muck up the kitchen table, I can set up a little workstation elsewhere. Just the other day I had a Skype interview and I needed a quiet spot to chat and focus, so I headed up to our third floor. In the old house, I would have had to leave or take the interview at a coffee shop. It’s been nice to spread out a bit.

THERE’S A PLACE FOR OUR COATS

Tricorn Black Door

I’m thinking back and I cannot for the life of me remember where we hung our winter coats and scarves every day at the old house. Certainly I did not allow them to lay around. But I know there was not a physical place for them to go. And granted, in the current house, some hooks over the basement stairs isn’t the perfect solution (fixing that in 2016!) but it’s so much better than having to look at coats and winter accessories out in the open. My mind cannot handle that visual chaos. Dramatic I know, but true.

What about you? Have you done a similar move? What do you like/dislike about moving to a bigger place?

I’m not sure if we’ll always live “big”. In fact, I can see us returning to our small roots when the kids are grown. Those shipping container houses look pretty cool. 😉

xo,

emily

p/s: My boys turned 10 months old yesterday. Eeeeeee!!! They are so fun and basically I’m having the time of my life (minus the teething part).