Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ellie 6 Months

Eleanor Joyce

Our beautiful blue-eyed, crazy-haired girl is already 6 months old. She weighs 14 lbs, which is on the small side, but the doctor said she is growing well and is perfectly healthy. Ellie now eats rice cereal, beans, peas, carrots, and pears. She can roll over on to her tummy and from her tummy to her back. She is working on sitting up, but isn't there yet. She doesn't like being on her tummy and now that she can roll herself over "tummy time" is pretty much impossible. Hopefully she still learns to crawl someday. Ellie loves to talk. She squawks and sings and responds to people when they talk to her. She likes to be where the action is, but sometimes just needs some quiet time in her crib where she babbles happily to herself. She also loves walks in her stroller and I try to get out at least once a day. She is still shy of strangers and can be unpredictable in who she will tolerate and who she won't. She likes her baths and playing with Dad when he gets home. She has the sweetest personality and every day I am grateful to be her mother. Even in the difficult moments, which she really does have few of.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Labor Day

 For labor day we headed down with the Porters to the Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks area. While rainy a lot of the time, our short excursions were still beautiful.

 I can only imagine what those early explorers thought when they came across the stunning landscape of the West. The colors are breathtaking, the vistas sublime, the majesty nearly overwhelming.

 The camera also loved this little bug. How could it not? 
Ellie was pretty happy most of the time, despite her lack of sleep at night. I was cruelly reminded how grateful I am that Ellie has her own room and own bed at home.

Passing Big Rock Candy Mountain had us all humming to ourselves "The lemonade springs where the bluebird sings in the Big Rock Candy Mountains..."
 We stayed at a great cabin with an awesome zip-line, hot tub, pool table, ping-pong table, dart board, and fire-pit.

But spending time with family was the most fun of all.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Painting the Kitchen

 I knew I wanted a white kitchen before we bought a house. I also knew that this would probably mean painting it myself. I have read a million blog posts about painting kitchen cabinets, but my true inspiration was my sister Allison who painted her kitchen cabinets white. I knew that I could probably manage it if someone I actually KNOW has been able to do it, and hers look great. This was obviously not a project I wanted to do pregnant, so it had to wait. I also knew that I didn't want to do it with a crawling baby, which meant my window was not really large. After a little over a month (yes, it took me that long) I have finally rehung my newly painted cabinets. I'm pretty happy with the result. I'm not totally done with the kitchen. The bar still needs to be painted and we removed the big box cabinet on the left side of the sink but still need to put up open shelves.
 Whoa...isn't that so much more refreshing? Seriously, the air feels cleaner to breathe (that probably has something to do with the fact that my kitchen is actually CLEAN in this picture).
 It's hard to tell, but you can see I've already started painting the walls in this picture. The kitchen, like everything else in my house, was painted tan. Doors, trim, walls: ALL TAN. And look at those hideous gold door knobs. Who ever thought fake shiny gold door knobs were a good idea? I think they need a good spanking. much better. Not only did I have to paint the cabinets, and the walls, but I had to paint all the trim, the doors, and the knobs. Yep...see the transformation.
 Ugly, ugly shiny you can see me taking the picture.
 Spray-painted knob = million times better! Door knobs are expensive and I certainly don't have the extra cash to buy new ones, but for a few bucks I think this transformation looks pretty great. We'll see how well they hold up to use.
 Painting the kitchen walls was no easy feat either. We have vaulted ceilings which I love because it makes our kitchen feel so open and airy, but so help me I hope I NEVER have to paint these walls again.
 I'm glad I did it though. The color is Iceberg by Benjamin Moore and is not quite as blue as it looks in the above picture. I love it. It is like inviting the sky right into our kitchen.
 Thankfully the people who we bought the house from had already replaced all the hardware in the kitchen, and I really like it. Hardware is expensive and I didn't have to buy any. They also replaced the light fixtures and the kitchen faucet. While replacing all that is probably much less time consuming, it would have been a lot more expensive than just painting, so I am glad I was only left with the exhausting job of painting.

Now this is a kitchen I can enjoy eating in! 

Thanks to Deanna, Kati, Abby, Matt, Emily, and Brian for all helping me at different intervals. I couldn't have done it (or at least not half as quickly) without you! Also thanks to the tutorials here and here for helping me choose paint and figure out technique! I used Benjamin Moore Advance paint in Snow White. Now I'll be honest. I like Benjamin Moore colors, but for walls I use Behr Ultra from home depot with Benjamin Moore colors because it is cheaper and is still great paint. For the cabinets, however, I wanted super durable high-quality paint, so I bit the bullet, but it still only cost me under $100 to paint all the cabinets. When compared to the the 2,000+ dollars the cost would be to pay someone else to paint, and the thousands and thousands more it would be to simply replace all the cabinetry, the late midnight painting sessions in the garage were definitely worth it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Starting Solids

 I can't believe that Ellie is already old enough to start eating solids (or really basically liquids that aren't breast milk). We started with rice cereal last week. She wasn't too sure at first but by the third day she seemed to really like it. She already wants to feed herself, or at least grab the spoon and shove it in her mouth. Instead she usually just gets food all over her hands and dumps it down her front. It's like running the gauntlet to try to get the spoon to her mouth while avoiding her flailing, grabbing hands.
We tried carrots this morning. She definitely wasn't sure about this new taste. 

Ellie, you grow so fast!