Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting Crafty

I asked Rachel earlier today what she wanted to do today, and she said that she was feeling crafty and wanted to make something.  While Annelise was napping, she browsed through Pinterest and decided that she wanted to make one of those melted crayon art canvases.  I decided that I finally wanted to make something to hang all of Annelise's bows on.  (I didn't work on that project tonight, I was finishing up something else.)  I figured that today would be a good time to see if Annelise would like to do something crafty too.  

I remembered seeing on Pinterest a project for kids where you put some finger paint inside of a baggie and let the kids have some fun with it.  So, I decided to try that out.  I figured that it would be perfect for my child who must-put-all-things-in-her-mouth still, and it would be perfect for mom who gets-twitchy-when-messes-get-out-of-control-because-it's-bad-for-my-OCD.  
It held her attention for a little bit, but much shorter than I hoped for.  I think that it was a great project to use to introduce her to crafty art type things.  I'm hoping that in a couple more months, she'll like to do more art stuff.  I'm not artistic in the least, but she may be, and it'll be good to expose her to that stuff.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Being More

I always knew that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  From very early on, even when I was going to college to get my degree, I knew that I probably wasn't going to use it much and that it would just be a piece of paper on the wall.  I've just always felt called to be a mom and to stay home with my children.

I have so enjoyed being able to be with Annelise and watch her grow and learn.  I have gotten to witness every single one of her firsts.  I love knowing that the skills that she is learning, and has learned, are because of the hard work and dedication that I have put in to teaching her.  My heart swells with joy as she points out the right body parts that I call out.  She uses the handful of sign language signs that she knows so well, and she understands that that is how she communicates.  I have spent so much time signing over and over for her to understand the meaning and repeat the sign back.  It is so rewarding to see her connect the two and use the sign properly.

As much as I love being home with her, I still feel like I'm missing something.  I have talked to Drew about this extensively and he keeps pushing me to go get a job.  I just don't feel like that will solve the feelings that I have.  I told him that I'm going to go from one small little dictator telling me what to do, to one big dictator telling me what to do.  I don't need another person to be a boss to be.  I'm sure that these feelings come from the past two jobs that I've held where my bosses have been women, and power tripping ones at that.  I would constantly be talked down to and berated for the way that I handled situations.  I handled them in a perfectly appropriate manner, they just may not have necessarily been exactly the way that my boss would have handled them, and for that, I was reprimanded.  I never felt appreciated either.  I worked very hard at both of my jobs, and very rarely did I ever receive a "thank you" or a pat on the back.  I strongly believe that bosses should do both for their employees.

As much as I love being home with Annelise, I need to spend some time away.  I spend practically every single second with her.  I don't think it's healthy for either of us.  I can see that Annelise is very clingy, and she gets anxious when she can't see me.  She has a definite preference for me most of the time.  And I never get a chance to miss her when I am with her all of the time.  I can feel my sanity waning.

Annelise is definitely a toddler in every sense of the word now.  She can be sweet and loving, rambunctious and playful, and trying and difficult.  Some days, the trying and difficult part feel like they consume the day.  I have been working so hard to maintain some patience, and to speak in a way that is positive rather than filling her day with "no".  But, when I never get a break away from her to collect myself and rejuvenate my sanity, it gets hard.

A couple of months ago, I went to an antique store with a girlfriend of mine.  We even brought the kids along.  I swear, I was on a high for the rest of the day.  Just the simple act of hanging out with another girl and having some chit chat and shopping, was amazing.  I could not wipe the smile off of my face.  And then, when we went to the zoo a couple of weeks ago, I turned to Drew as we were walking out and told him that I felt so happy and that we needed to do things like that more often.  Getting out of our routine, being in a new place, and seeing Annelise so happy and excited made me really enjoy life again.

Frankly, I haven't been enjoying life much.  I'm stuck in this rut of loneliness with a toddler who tests my patience on an hourly basis.  Drew leaving for Portland could not have come at a worse time.  I had made plans for me, and a couple for him and I, to get out and enjoy life.  Of course, they all had to be cancelled.  I needed these plans to maintain my sanity.  I needed to get out of my routine of everyday life and be more than just a mom.  I feel like that is the only label that I have.  It's not that I don't love being a mom, but I feel like there needs to be more to me.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Work Trips

Earlier this afternoon, Drew left for two weeks for a work trip in Portland.  I'm stressed and annoyed.  This work trip could not come at a worse time.  We were given four days notice and I had to cancel and rearrange a bunch of plans.  I'm trying really hard not to be bitter about how this trip came about, but it's difficult.  This is the kind of stuff that was pulled when Drew was with his old employer, except that it was even less notice.  It's one thing when it was just Drew and me, but we have a daughter now.  I know that lots of families have traveling spouses, and at the end of the day, two weeks really isn't that big of a deal. 

I'm praying that these two weeks fly by quickly.  Pray for me folks, I'm going to need it!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A New Basement Floor (Again)

A little over two years ago, Drew and I decided that it was time to do something with the hideous mess that was our basement, and give it a face lift.  I gave a little video tour of the before here.

I suck at follow up apparently, because I never did an after.  Honestly, we never completely finished it. It was done, and workable, but not completely.  My small studio is down there, and some workout equipment.

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing a video tour of our house to show some friends, and I included the basement.  As I was taping and walking across the basement floor, I noticed that it squished as I walked across it.  The boards also looked a little warped.  Not so good!

My first thought was that water had come in through the french doors and underneath the flooring.  We replaced the old door last summer when we were doing all of the exterior repairs, and put in a new door that opened on both sides.

I told Drew when we got home that evening about the squishy floors and he immediately went downstairs to investigate.  Much to our surprise, the water did not come from the door, but from our water heater.  I guess that the bottom decided to no longer hold the water that it was supposed to, and instead, leak it all over our floor.
Here you can see how warped the floor boards were.  If you walked closer to the door, which is behind me in the picture, you could actually squish water up between the boards.  My heart sort of broke when I realized how much damage had been done.

Drew got to work the next day calling the insurance company.  They immediately sent out a restoration company to start quoting us prices for clean up and repair.  The man that came determined that about the half of the large room and a small portion of the hallway had been damaged.  Thankfully, the water had not gotten into the drywall or underneath the bathroom floor.

Drew and his dad decided that they could do all of the clean up and repair themselves, and worked out all of the details with the insurance company.  We have replaced the water heater, and the floors are almost done now.
This is the current state of my basement.  But, the floors are down!  We've decided to run the floor boards in the other direction than what we originally laid them.  We thought that we could get away with not putting a break in the room.  We did notice, before we noticed the water damage, that some of the boards were separating.  We think that had to do with how large of an area we laid.  The company recommends that you not have an area greater than 16 feet, I think, without doing a break.  So, we decided to put a break in the floor this time.  Not ideal, but we think that it will keep the boards nicer for longer.

Drew also decided that he really wanted to create a tile entryway at the doors.
The transition pieces still need to be installed, but this is the tile.  It is the same tile that is on the bathroom floor.
Here is a close up of the new floor, which obviously still needs to be cleaned.  This new floor is the same one that we bought last time.  However, we noticed that the color is a little browner than the old stuff.  If you look at the damaged floor above, you can see that it's redder.  It wasn't that red in real life, some of it is crappy photo lighting, but it was definitely redder than this new stuff.  Strange.

It shouldn't be too much longer before we are finished.  We've already talked about buying some area rugs to warm the space up.  Drew's ultimate goal was to have a TV with surround sound and nice furniture.  I'm not sure if we're going to get that far, but I'll update as we go.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th Of July Party

Today, we drove to Eric's parent's house in a small town that's a little over an hour from us for Wesley's birthday party.  We left around 11 so that Annelise would fall asleep and nap on the way there.  We were about 10 minutes away from the house when I realized that I forgot my camera.  We turned back around to go get it, and figured that, at the very least, it bought us an extra half hour of nap time.  I had hoped that I could put Annelise in the pack and play that Wes sleeps in with her sound machine and that she would nap longer, but she woke up as soon as I started taking her out of her carseat.  Usually, she'll fall right back to sleep once I put her in her crib, but this time everything was unfamiliar and she just wasn't having it.  She cried as soon as I laid her down.  I tried to rock her for a little bit, but she was awake.  I just prayed that she would be in a semi-decent mood for the rest of the day.

Jess did a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme for Wes' party and she had some amazing decorations.
This was the dessert table and the centerpieces.  Cute, right?
I bought this cute pillowcase dress at an antique store a couple of months ago.  It's really long on her right now, but I'm excited that she'll be able to wear it for a couple of years before she outgrows it.
Ahhhh, these two!  Melt my heart!  I can't wait to watch them grow up.
The kids seriously swarmed the cotton candy machine.  Jess walked out and said that you would have thought they were handing out $100 bills with how excited everyone was.  I'm sure that there would have been some more excited adults if they were handing out $100 bills!
Annelise tried some, against my better judgement, but she didn't really like it.  That was just fine with me!
Seriously though, I love that sweet face more than words can describe.
We decided not to stay with everyone to watch the fireworks and headed home.  I knew that Annelise wouldn't last too late given her crappy nap.  Drew was a little bummed that we weren't able to go to the fireworks.  I'm hoping that next year we can plan to take her.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Water Baby

Rachel and I went birthday present shopping for Wes yesterday, and while we were at the store, we happened to wander by the pools.  We picked up the cutest little pool with a slide that we thought Annelise would just love.

When Drew got home, he inflated it for us, and that should have been our first indication that it wouldn't last long in our house!  We let Annelise play with it in the living room, without water, for a little bit before she had to go to bed.

Today, while she was eating lunch, I filled up multiple buckets of water and filled up her pool for her to play in.
Look at that little tongue trying to drink the water!  Ha!
Like I said, she loves to climb and slide right now.
She's also a fan of stealing Maya's ball to get her to play.
When Drew got home from work tonight, he went outside to check out his garden.  Annelise saw the pool again, and wanted to play in it again.  She we just let play in it naked since I really didn't want to go inside and try to put a cold, wet swimming suit on her.  She had a great time!

Then, we all came inside to eat dinner and wind down for bed.  Drew went back outside later that evening to turn off the water on the garden, and discovered that Maya had popped both the slide and the pool.  Dumb dog!!!  It barely lasted 24 hours!  Hopefully I can find her another pool with a slide that is plastic instead of inflatable.  I should have known better!