Friday, June 28, 2013


We don't have a pool besides what we have for the dog. Most of the time I'm happy I don't have to deal with the maintenance and drowning hazard of a pool, but now that we are hitting 110 degrees regularly, I do think a pool would be nice. Often we will go visit friends to swim, but when we are chilling out at home, we make do with the sprinklers.

Or speenkles as J calls them. There is something so special about the complete joy on her face as she runs with abandon. I can't quite capture it, but here is some of what I see.

And here is what M is doing, chillin' out in the stroller.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nap with Dad

 May 25th

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Overpriced blankets that make me ridiculously happy

So I finally got around to uploading pictures from a month ago. It's crazy to see how much bigger my little man is already. There is something so special about sleeping babies.

He is all cuddled up in my biggest baby indulgence: bamboo blankets. It's not enough to want to wickedly overpriced aden+anais swaddlers, but I wanted the organic bamboo ones to wipe up spit and get covered in poop. I fully acknowledge the silliness of it, but they helped me bond with the little guy before he was born. I would feel the blankets every time I went by them and just smiled when I thought of wrapping him up in them. It made the purchase totally justified right? I'm pretty sure I have "yuppie sucker" stamped on my forehead, but I don't really care since I still smile every time I wrap him up in them.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

First Day at Church

These are a few weeks old now, but I just loved this outfit. Finally a boy I can put a sweater vest on!

It was a rare moment since he wasn't crying, eating, or sleeping so I had to be happy with the less than perfect posing. I did get these fantastic gems though. The most awkward of faces.

These shoes he wore once and now they are too small. I love them anyways.

Monday, June 17, 2013

"Dance Baby M!"

We were having a little dance party when J decided M needed to join us. My heart melted a little.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A tisket, a tastic, a flower making basket

In my head I always think of the play dough commercial in the 80's for the flower basket toy. I found it on youtube here at 1:02 if you want to hear it. My sister had that toy and like everything of hers, I was jeal-ous.

Now as an adult I've found clay flowers just don't compare to the real ones. I always felt planting flowers was a waste of money because I figured it I was paying to water a plant, I should be able to eat part of it.

This year I changed my mind.

I'd go to the nursery for veggies and I just couldn't help myself. Then I'd go to Home Depot and not be able to help myself. I also got a bunch of AZ friendly flower seeds from Madre Dos for Christmas and couldn't help myself.

But look how pretty they are (were)! Worth every penny!

After the frost hit I thought they all died so I bought more. Nope, most perked back up!

Anyone know the name of these? I forgot and they ended up being my favorite

This is a blue hybicus plant from a couple years ago. The frost wiped it out and I kept meaning to hack off the 3/4 of it that looked dead. I just kept putting it off and my laziness was rewarded when it magically turned verdant and blossomed more than it ever had. Go figure.

My new favorite thing is to let plants go to seed, just to see what they look like. Sometimes I manage to harvest the seeds too. This is cilantro gone crazy.
 Canna lilies are the prettiest flower ever to love the heat and full sun. And they are indestructible, as proven my my dog destroying them last year.

And while I took those good photos over a month ago, I had a bunch of random flowers I didn't even plant pop up. This guy looks a lot like a weed when it is small. I'm pretty sure I've been pulling them by mistake for months. Note the fuzzy stem that usually is a sign a plant is trying to hurt me.

I have no idea what this flower is either and I found it hiding in the back of the planter.

This one I'm pretty sure is blanket flower that I did plant seeds for but this is the only one that came up. Or that wasn't weeded...

I don't remember the name of this flower, but I planted them last year and found this little guy grew all on his own this season.

This gladiola looks just like my mom's garden. I didn't plant it but it is in the side of the planter that housed transplants from my mom's yard two years ago. All of the plants I took from my parents' house have been pulled out but I wonder if a seed came along with them and just found the right  condition two years later. Or perhaps a bird pooped it recently.

This is what kale looks like gone to seed, in case you wondered. There is a cute little yellow flower near the top. J likes to tear leaves off and eat them. Strange child.

This is some volunteer lettuce I had. No lettuce seeds grew where I planted them, but apparently the gravel with sprinkler overspray was the perfect spot. I let it go to seed and it has such interesting fluff.

These red ones are probably my favorite little ones. I'm pretty sure they are the red flax seeds from Madre Dos.

I love how nature just takes over despite whatever I intend for it to do.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bathroom Remodel (finally)

Remember back when I had a toilet in my hallway? Well we did finish the bathroom. Months ago even. Here is the finished product.

I was a little worried about the tile making the bathroom look like a dungeon since there isn't any natural light. On the shower wall it looks almost like granite but on the floor it looks like the faux wood. I like it and it really isn't too dark.

I had a heck of time finding a modern looking vanity that wasn't crazy expensive. We went with the Godmorgon vanity from Ikea because with the sink top it was about $500 and I liked the drawers for storage. The problem is there is exactly 3.25" behind the drawers for the plumbing. That means the valves just barely fit behind the drawers and the waster water pipe didn't. The internet was not very helpful in helping us solve the problem so I decided to pay it forward by providing pictures on how we did it. That way the next poor soul who googles "how to install ikea godmorgon sink" doesn't have to search through 600 forums trying to find an answer. We had to chop the pipe as short as it could go and get a very tight 90 degree connector. We found these pieces at Ace Hardware in a kit and just cut them to fit using a saws all since we didn't have pipe cutters. I think the kit was about $15.

We also had to position the vanity as close to the return water pipe to make room for the center piece. It just barely fit and makes the vanity about two inches away from the right wall.

I know it's not polite to talk about money in general, but I'm always super curious in renovation posts about the total cost. And not just the total cost, but the cost break down. Then I can see how much I could do it for roughly since I might choose a cheaper tile or light fixture. And there are always hidden costs that people don't mention.

So I'm going to tell you some of our numbers, just in case you are curious or are considering giving your own bathroom a face lift.

The tile was $2.50/sq ft. I found there were many options around that price. If you like a generic square, you can get it for around $.99. The total for our grout, tile, and thin set was $270. The guy we paid to tile it was $400. A new tub and toilet were about $450. Our plumber did all the installation for $400 but he was a friend so it might be more expensive with someone else. Or not. We just prefer our money going to people we know regardless on whether they give us a deal or not.

What killed me was the cost of this shower head and faucet. I was adamant on a model that had separate controls for temperature and pressure. Home Depot didn't have a single one. Lowes only had one and it was about $250. Ridiculous and we probably could have found one cheaper, but we needed it that day. (I adore it months later though so worth it to me. Makes me feel like I'm showering in a fancy hotel)

Like I said before, the vanity ended being about $500, but the faucet was another $50. That is the one thing in the bathroom I hate. The brushed nickel looks super cheap and shows every hard water spot but  we wanted to make sure we found one that fits the Ikea sink perfectly and they had all of three options. I really love the vanity though. We fit everything that was in our old vanity and the one in the other bathroom (my child loved to empty it so we moved the contents into our bathroom) into 3 drawers with room to spare. We put baskets underneath it as well for extra storage (we buy tp in bulk and the baskets make it look much prettier). I also like how the drawers are hydraulic and take a little extra pressure to open. It makes it so my toddler can't open them and raid my nail polish.

I did all the tile demo with a mini sledge and a chisel (*tip* put a towel over the tile before you hit it and the shards don't fly in your face). Husband and I ripped out the vanity and mirror ourselves too so we saved money on that aspect. There were several hidden costs to keep in mind should you want to remodel your bathroom, some with prices I remember, some I have forgotten. I've found things like the towel rod and light fixtures are really what update a space and are worth it if you aren't on a complete shoestring budget. Aside: why do people say they are doing something on a budget? It means very different things to different people. The party blogger's birthday "on a budget" is WAY more than I would ever spend. Even rich people have a budget for their bathrooms, it is just $20,000. "On a budget" is one of my least favorite sayings. Anyways,

gallon of paint $30
tile sealer $20
new baseboard $3
New outlet and light switch $10
Plumbing stuff $40
new towel rod $20
new shower curtain rod $10
Contact paper for the drawers $2 (it's stupid how happy it makes me seeing it when I open a drawer)
New towels $20
Bath mats (we used some we had, but black is terrible because it shows every speck of lint. I couldn't find a better looking option for the color scheme though so we used what we had, otherwise they are around $30)
light fixture $60
glass shelves $35 at Target
TP pedestal $10-$20 (Ross is the cheapest place for these and baskets FYI)
shower curtain $20
baskets $20
frames $4 (Fallas Parades is my favorite! $2 each for fancy matted art work I plan on replacing with photos. Hanging them vertically made the space look surprisingly bigger) 

The mirror is one I inherited from my parents. I originally wanted a sleek modern looking one but couldn't find one the size I wanted. Most were super ornate and $500 or more. I found an ok one for $200 but if I was going to spend that I wanted to actually like what I was buying. I had this one in my garage and spray painted it with $8 brushed nickel spray paint. It looks glittery when the paint is wet, but I like the finish dry. It looks better than a silver metallic. I'm actually glad I didn't find a modern one because the curves keep the bathroom from looking too sterile. And since it was $8 of paint, the price was perfect.

Grand total: No idea. I'm a little afraid to do the math, but you are welcome to.  I just know it will be a few more years until we can afford to do the other bathroom.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baby Burrito

A certain big girl wanted to be swaddled in her blankey but she moved before I could focus the camera correctly. Or I did it on purpose to be artsy. Whatever you want to believe.

And this picture is actually from mid-April. Ah well.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Labor Day Present #2

Not the holiday, but the momentous day M came into the world. My sweet husband gives me a piece of jewelry to commemorate the occasion and I adore what he picked out. J is mildly obsessed with it and touches it whenever I hold her, asks to put try it on ("No, it's Mommy's"), and says, "Sparkles!" What can I say, the girl knows how to appreciate diamonds.

My mother-in-law took these pictures of us when M was a week old and highlighted my beautiful early mother's day gift.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

J Meets M, and some postpartum ranting

So my friend Krysten asked the million dollar question: Would I go medication free again for the delivery?

My answer: Who said anything about more kids?

Just kidding, we probably will. After having M, I remember looking down and thinking I want a bunch more of these precious little beings. And immediately thinking I was crazy because, dude, I had just got that little man out and was in no hurry to another one. Yet even sleep-deprived as I am now, I want the love explosion of having another. It's weird.

M, fresh from labor.

As for drugs or no drugs, I'm going to have to say I liked my epidural pushing experience much better than without. I didn't get the rush of oxytocin and relief when it was over like some of my friends have experienced. With J, I had to ask if I was pushing, then they handed me a baby two minutes later.

I expected an awesome recovery by skipping the epidural since that is what my hippy mamas say they love about medication-free births. I didn't feel like that happened. My sister was up and walking around two hours after but I felt like my pelvis was broken in three places and every motion hurt. Even laying in one spot for more than 15 minutes hurt. It was a week before I felt like I could really move comfortably.

In addition to that, let's just talk about after birth for a second. Sweet merciful Lord in heaven it hurts. With the epidural I had no problem with people "massaging" my uterus since I couldn't feel any pain. This time around it hurt. Bad. And it hurt bad every time he nursed. And it felt as bad for days after. And about a week later I thought I was going to die because I had an hour of never ending pain that had me bent over and doing breathing exercises. I didn't go to the hospital because I had something similar with J and it was not considered abnormal.

And they say it gets worse with each kid.  Oh joy.

Of course the morning after that I lost about three inches around my waist so it was at least productive pain.

And can we talk about nursing for a minute? First go get some sand paper and rub it all over your nipples for a few minutes, then snap a chip clip on 'em and yank for 40 minutes. Then repeat the process every two hours. Pour a half gallon of milk on your shirt while your at it. Only my love of food (500 extra calories a day for nursing moms! woot!) and my frugality (formula is how much?) keeps me doing it. That, and the pain of concrete boobs that come if you decide not to nurse. Darned if you do, darned if you don't.

I suppose the whole "better for the baby" plays a small part, but compared to my selfishness, it is a very small part. A few more extra antibodies for the kiddo doesn't mean much when your skin is cracked and bleeding. Fortunately, like high school, it eventually ends and does get better.

Anyways, here is a little video of when J came to the hospital. She wasn't particularly interested in M and thought he was her cousin Benjie. She was quite interested in the present M brought her, half-priced after season Easter basket complete with candy, doll furniture, dress up shoes, purse, gloves, crown, and jewelry.

She clip-clopped up and down the hospital hallway in her get up, much to the enjoyment of the staff. And since my potty training toddler had to poop THREE times during her visit, everyone knew the sound of those shoes. My sweet nurse was a lady of color and while checking on me heard the clopping in the hall and said, "That's your people." Made me think of my Grandma.

J also was very interested in my lunch.

J does love her brother though. She squinches up her nose, eyes, and shoulders and tells me. "He's so cute!" fairly often. Now she proclaims, "Baby M's so BIG!" presumably picked up from my conversations (he's grown almost an inch a week and doesn't fit in the newborn jammies anymore at 5 weeks.)

I've been rather impressed. I was concerned she'd accidentally love him to death trying to hold him or smother his with blankets. No problems so far. She pretty much leaves him alone. She usually doesn't like holding him since he's a fairly fussy child. She often puts on her face of empathy and declares, "Baby M's sad." She does love when I pretend to have him kick her or when we all dance together. She likes to include him in things. Like when she was doing my hair she asked if we could do his too. Today she asked if Baby M could go swimming with us. She also loves to give him a "plug," even though he doesn't really take one unless you shove it in his face for 20 minutes. J also is great at notifying me when "Baby M puked." We blame her cousins for her infant care lexicon.

Even though babies are so difficult, I adore this little one so much. There is one of the great paradoxes of life with children. You would think your love would split in half with a second kid. Instead it doubles. I found myself loving J even more than before I had M. That's in addition to the love explosion  I have for this little lump that doesn't even really interact with me yet. I can't figure out how my love capacity just grew that much. I even love my husband even more, especially when I see him holding his babies. Then I think about my mom with her 5 kids and can't even fathom how much love she is capable of now. Her heart must be gigantic!

Then I think about our Heavenly Father and how much love he has. I understand the psalm better now than before.

We truly are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I'm live blogging on my phone during my toddler hair appointment

"Sit down"
"Looka me"
"turn roun"
"so soft! "
" dats pridy good"
"ok one more, one more "
"I getta brush"
"I did it"
"I spray dat"
"hey, your brush"
"cos eyes, cos eyes"
"brush baby M's hair?"
"oh no"
"brush yo head"
"look at me, stand up, turn around"
"just one more"
"daddy brush your hair"
"do this side, other side"
"keep brushing"
"it's red white red (referring to the spray bottle) "

And the appointment is over since jumping back and forth over my legs is more fun


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