Teller and Nixon’s Two Year Update!

By | The Brothers May | 4 Comments

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

This post has been on my to-do list for far too long. And as their birthday was March 27, I’m a little behind! It’s so hard to put into words the huge changes these boys have made since their 18-month update. They are mini people now! Who talk! Who have conversations! Who have rational (and completely irrational) thoughts!

We were not at all ready for the challenges that came with 18-month olds. PHEW! Why didn’t anyone tell us… lol!? I’m not going to lie, the 18-month to 24-month stretch was rough for us, both physically and mentally. Not only did they become 150% mobile, but they’re crazy fast and never run in the same direction. Getting out of the house became hard. And on the mental side, they have opinions, have personalities as big as a house and they entered the world of tantrums.

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Their language grew by leaps and bounds over the last 6-8 months and communication has been key to keeping the peace. Early on, when they hadn’t quite mastered all their words (and we hadn’t mastered toddlerhood) we had some rough days. I, too, would be super pissed off if I had to repeat myself over and over and not be understood. I get it! Early on, we ordered Happiest Toddler on the Block and it has been huge in helping us communicate with our kids. Diffusing tantrums is an art and one we practiced weekly during that time. And let me tell you, it makes you feel like super woman to be able to talk your toddler off a cliff. The biggest thing for us has been to validate their feelings (“Teller is mad. Teller wants the toy horse.”) in a way they understand, rather than try to change the subject or offer a distraction. Looking back… DUH!

We also learned how to “toddlerspeak” (which they cover in the book) which is basically talking in short, halted sentences rather than the longer, more complicated ones we are used to using. Instead of “Do you want to go outside and play in your playhouse?” we’ve learned to speak much more simply: “Teller go outside, playhouse?” And a note to all the adults who visit us: I swear we are not lunatics nor have we suffered any brain injuries lately.

The photos for this update were taken during their birthday party in early April. They LOVE Buzz and Woody from Toy Story. They had never seen the movie, but my dad has a Toy Story app on his iPad that they loved. You should have seen their faces when Buzz and Woody were all over their plates, the walls and cupcakes. I may or may not be changing my stance on Disney World next summer. 😉

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

OK, so let’s talk Teller!

Teller’s 2-Year Update

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Weight: 25.8 (21st percentile)

Height: 34 (46th percentile)

Head: 20

Diaper Size: 5

Clothing Size: 2T

Teeth: 16

Nicknames: TT, Tell Tell, Teller Man, Bubba, TT Glenn

Personality: He’s still my sweet and sour little bubba, but his sweet side is running deeper and deeper. He is a near pro now at hugs and kisses. Chances are he’ll try to plant one on you if he meets you! I distinctly remember when he gave me the biggest bear hug for the first time. We were getting ready for bed—reading and putting pajamas on—and he got up and wrapped what felt like his whole self around my shoulders. I about died… and yes I cried! He’s just a go, go, go kind of guy and so independent that he forgets about his mama sometimes. 😉 Out in public, he’s still a shy little guy and needs a good 2o minutes sitting close to Mom or Dad before he’s ready to join in on the fun. But once he’s over it, look out! He comes ready to party (and squeal).

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Words: My favorite thing he does is say “yay” instead of “yes.” It’s the cutest! He also has mastered “stop it” and calls Nixon “Ray Ray” which kills me. He didn’t really pick up on a big range of words until closer to two, but man, the boy talks and talks and talks now! He loves singing his ABCs, naming body parts and every animal he sees! He sings us Let It Go from Frozen, complete with arm movements. There is one night in particular, that as I was rocking his little brother to sleep in his room, Teller stood in the corner of his crib and serenaded us both.

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Life With Brothers: Teller is the alpha and boy does he know it! He believes everything Nixon has belongs to him “No, mine!” and normally Nixon dutifully turns it over to him when asked… poor thing! We’re working on it. But beyond that, it has been awesome to see how much Teller loves his brother. In little ways, like wanting to sit next to him on the couch, helping him down the front steps with an outstretched hand, the pat on the back when the other is hurt. He is so sweet. And that applies to Otto, too. He’s living life with his new baby brother like a champ and loves to hold him (Otto is not a fan yet), help put on his blankies and stand by when mom or dad is changing Otto’s diaper.

Likes: Baths, washing his hands, playing in Daddy’s truck, Paw Patrol (which he refers to as “Marshall”), Buzz and Woody, organizing his “things,” pouring food/rice/water from one container to another, going on walks (although he prefers to be held), the big slide at the playground, his teacher Aly at school, wearing hats and sunglasses (“eyes”), chasing Nixon, holding Otto, saying sorry (“sawwy”) on behalf of others, hoarding a myriad of items in his crib and more.

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Dislikes: Getting his diaper changed, turning the light down at nighttime, taking shoes off at nap time, sweet drinks, sharing with Nixon, kids falling or tripping (“Oh no! Oh no!”)

We love you so much Teller Glenn!

Nixon’s 2-Year Update

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Weight: 26.8 (33rd percentile)

Height: 35 (73rd percentile)

Head: 20.25

Diaper Size: 5

Clothing Size: 2T

Teeth: 14 (Still waiting on those bottom incisors to poke through… almost there!)

Nicknames: Nix, Nix Nix, Ray Ray, Bubba, Nixy

Personality: Nixon continues to be the sweetest little bubba around. He loves to help people and asking for help (“Nixon, can you help momma do this?”) always go better than, “Nixon, please put XX away.” He gives the best cuddles and loves to sit next to me with his little hand on my lap. And he’s a sneaky one! He’s turned this house into a field of what we call “hidey holes” where he stores his most treasured belongings, like old pieces of toast, fruit snack wrappers, broken toys and the like. He’s like a little squirrel!
Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Words: Nixon has been talking, talking, talking since around 18 months. This dude is starting to talk in 3-4 word sentences! “I did it!”, “I see you!” and “All right! Yes!” are some of my faves. Just when we think we’ve discovered all of his new words, he surprises us with a few more. He loves talking about shapes and can identify the square, heart, star, square, etc. like a pro. He calls Teller “TT” which is so cute, especially when he’s reminding Teller “no touch” when it comes to the lamps and other fragile things. He excitedly points to signs with big letters and shouts out the letter names as he recognizes them.

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Life With Brothers: Nixon is a rough and tumble kind of guy. He loves to wrestle! Teller will be sitting on the floor and Nixon will run and plop down on him. He think it’s hilarious and luckily, his brother is ready to take part. Nixon is a dare devil and has zero fear. Just last night he stood on top of the ottoman and attempted to dive headfirst onto the floor below. And then Teller sees him and wants to try. My nerves are shot! 🙂 Nixon is less interested with Otto versus Teller, but is nevertheless sweet and always gives him a good night kiss at bedtime.
Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Likes: Baths, putting on lotion, the silky tags on his blankies, washing hands, anything sweet!, Paw Patrol, Buzz and Woody, “tattooing” his arms, hands and feet with ink pens, gathering sticks, walking down the big steps at school by himself, running at full speed down the street (he’s a runner!), playing in Daddy’s truck, chewing on foam letters, chasing Teller around the house, wrestling, zooming around on his zebra car, singing, dancing to the “Hot Dog” song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, playing with little cars, climbing on the big kid’s playground at school, dumping his food at dinner and more.

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Dislikes: There isn’t much this boy doesn’t like! I honestly had a hard time thinking of things. I’d say plates, when Mom and Dad won’t let him dump his milk and going to bed!

We love you so much Nixon Ray!!

Two year olds so far are a ton of fun. Yes, so exhausting, but they are growing like crazy in so many ways every day. It seems like every day they do something new and exciting. And being able to have conversations with them? So, so awesome. Here’s to another great trip around the sun!

Teller and Nixon 2 Year Update

Adding Color To Our Front Yard

By | Room Makeovers, Wallace Woods House | No Comments

It’s May! And May means gardening! I’m a gardening and plant novice in every sense of the word, but that doesn’t squelch my excitement to get started! I love how my flower beds look all freshly groomed, mulched and planted after the dreary, muddy winter we had. I heard someone say that a newly-mulched bed is like a fresh coat of paint of the outdoors and that is so true!

Adding Color To Our Front Yard

I have ZERO strategy when it comes to planting. I don’t have a design in mind… I have no idea which plants are tall and which are low. I just plant them where I think they’ll look pretty and hope for the best. One thing I have been focusing on, however, is choosing perennials vs. annuals. I hate spending all that money on annuals to only have them die after a few months! In the past, my annual to perennial ratio has been 1:3 (last year we planted a few tulip bulbs, for example), but this year it’s all about the perennials. (P/S: Am I the only one who constantly forgets which is which…. I am always googling “annual vs. perennial” while I’m out plant shopping… dur!)

When it was time to start planting this time around, Monrovia, a plant and gardening company, reached out in hopes we could partner up on some colorful planting goodness. I have to admit—I never paid much attention to brands and logos when I plant shop. I didn’t even know there were different brands of flowers! But when Monrovia promised longer lasting, better performing, colorful choices that was music to this plant novice’s ears. Monrovia is available at Lowe’s and I have to say… I was so impressed with their selection.

Adding Color To Our Front Yard

One thing I did before I headed to Lowe’s was check out Monrovia’s selection of flowers online. I put in my zip code and it told me the best types of flowers for my area and climate, details about blooming cycles and care instructions which I absolutely LOVE. And you guys know what a big online shopper I am… if there is something specific you need, you can actually purchase them online and get plants shipped to your local garden center. We’ve been looking for specific types of tall grasses for our backyard and now I’m not at the mercy of whatever my local places have available. Yes!

As far as what I picked, again I tried to focus more on perennials this year, like several of these beauties, called Uptick Gold & Bronze Coreopsis.

Adding Color To Our Front Yard

But of course I couldn’t resist a few annuals, like these giant pinky/purple dahlias, called Dahlinova Hypnotica Dahlia. (And not shown here, but I also picked up some geraniums, these Cumbanita Lilac Geraniums.
Adding Color To Our Front Yard

I just loved how these two look next to each other, with the boldness of the yellow next to the bright, almost-neon purple.

Adding Color To Our Front Yard

Once I had my plants purchased and home, I simply plop them in my front beds to check out placement and figure out what I want where. Easy peasy. This time around, I paid a little more attention to the tags to see if the placement made sense.

Adding Color To Our Front Yard

And then it’s just a matter of digging, smushing (technical term) them into place and watering. Here’s a fun little video we did of the whole process. Thank you nap time, baby wearing and a husband with video skills for making it all happen.

Colorful Plants with Monrovia from Go Haus Go on Vimeo.

The night before was Aaron and I’s first night out post-babies (and completely kid-free!) so safe to say we were a little tired the next morning. Most of the photos from this slap happy session look like this…

Adding Color To Our Front Yard

No regrets.

Psstt… if you need additional inspiration and how-to’s on planting colorful goodness, Monrovia has an excellent blog called Grow Beautifully.

Thanks so much to Monrovia for reaching out and partnering with me on this post!

xo,

emily

 

Design “Doula” For a Kitchen/Bath Reno

By | Room Makeovers | 6 Comments

I do a lot of design consulting on the side and the best way I can describe the type of service I do most is a “design doula.” Haha! I swear this will make sense in a second. This scenario is pretty typical—let’s use a kitchen project as an example. A homeowner hires a kitchen/bath company to space plan, order materials and complete the renovation work. They are the professionals and the ones leading the project. And along the way there are so many decisions—grout color, floor tile orientation, lighting placement and more—that the homeowner feels completely overwhelmed with. I get it—there are a ton of questions to answer and they all feel like big, make-or-break decisions. That’s where I come in. Just like a doula in a delivery room, I work with the homeowner on the task (ha!) ahead of them, help them interpret/make sense of the contractor’s questions and ultimately, help take the project to the next level in terms of finishing details, character and more.

All of this to say—I have some awesome before/after photos for you from exactly this type of service. This project hails from Columbus, Ohio—a kitchen/bath renovation in a historic home. The marvelous SemBro Designs did all of the heavy lifting, from the initial design to the actual renovation work. The kitchen had some great character to start from—wood moldings (that we didn’t want to paint!) and a stained glass window. But everything else had to go—the flooring, the lighting, the cabinets, the backsplash… all of it!

Renovation Doula Columbus Kitchen

Let’s just jump right to it, shall we? Here is the after…

Renovation Doula Columbus Kitchen

The two main reasons for the renovation was to 1.) update the space but then 2.) add a half bath to the first level of the house. By reconfiguring the staircase on the opposite wall, they were able to squeeze a decent sized powder room into this space. Awesome.

Renovation Doula Columbus Kitchen

One of the first things I suggested based on the contractor’s renderings was to remove the set of upper cabinets to the right of the stove. Otherwise, the sink/window space felt a little claustrophobic with tall cabinets on either side. Plus, it was the perfect opportunity to bring more dark wood up to the walls, to help balance the dark trim around the floor and windows. The 12″ deep wood shelves are from Smokestack Studios. The depth was important because we wanted to be sure larger plates and bowls could fit easily.

Renovation Doula Columbus Kitchen

Here’s another “before”, this time facing the back of the kitchen, where the future bathroom would go.

Renovation Doula Columbus Kitchen

And the after, with an all-new powder room!
Renovation Doula Columbus Kitchen

I’ll share more about the bathroom, but real quick—those floors! That is faux wood ceramic tile and I absolutely love doing a longer, skinnier tile laid in a herringbone pattern. It took some convincing to go this route (the original plan was to lay them in a brick pattern) and I’m so glad he agreed to shell out the extra cash. (Installing it this way often means more material waste, which means more $$). The herringbone pattern kept an otherwise modern tile choice in the right era.

I cannot remember the source for that barn door, but I remember this one being a hot contender.

Ok, so back to the bathroom. This is perhaps my favorite part of the entire renovation. We went really industrial/masculine in here… and bold! You know the rules—the smaller the bathroom, the bolder it must be! The original thought in here was to do black tile on just 1/3 of the wall, to about a chair rail height. Here is another time I pushed—it was just too small a space to pull something like that off. It would have looked too choppy. So I suggested an entire wall of matte black tile, with black grout.

Renovation Doula Columbus Kitchen

The mirror is the smaller version of what I have in my entryway. And then that sink! Sure, we could have gone with a simple pedestal sink in here but where’s the fun in that? Sinks are one of my favorite ways to add character/an unexpected element, especially in a small bathroom. It’s from this shop. And yes, it was expensive but we balanced that with super affordable floor and wall tile from Home Depot and The Tile Shop. The tiny WC sign is from Rejuvenation. The storage shelf is from Country Corner Goods.

Here’s a look at the entire kitchen/bath space from a new angle, where you can see the washer/dryer stack. One the of challenges in this space was the ceiling! The ceiling had two outdated can lights in weird spots, plus a giant skylight (which was awesome… and is still there!). There wasn’t room in the budget to move the can lights, so we decided to embrace them and convert them to install these black barn lights. I love how it turned out, plus we needed some black to tie into the black countertops and cabinet hardware. If any of you are Lauren Liess fans, I was totally inspired by her kitchen—these are the lights she used in her kitchen renovation in lieu of can lights.

Renovation Doula Columbus Kitchen

Renovation Doula Columbus Kitchen

It was so exciting to be a part of this project. I can’t at all take credit for the major heavy lifting—huge kudos to SemBro Designs for their talents (and for these photos!). And a big ‘ole thanks to the homeowner who was willing to bring me along for the ride (and listened to all of my crazy ideas.)

Now on to the next one! I am taking new clients again in July, so if you need some design doula help, just shoot me an email at emkmay@gmail.com

xo,

emily