Halloween 2013

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Cora Jane was an absolute stinker this year. She refused to wear a costume, refused to have her picture taken, and ate nothing but candy all night. (Well, I suppose she did eat 4 bites of a cold, uncooked hotdog before I threw it into the fire pit.) Simon declared himself “too old” to go trick-or-treating. (Well, until he went to his friends’ house and walked around with them, sans costume.)

But sweet Benny? He had a blast.

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Sad good-bye

I am so sad to see the end of summer. Summertime is my favorite time of the year.

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This season of change is a big one. With both boys back in school, it will just be me and the Little Miss together all day. I’m going to continue working part-time in the afternoon and evenings. Matt is also taking 12 credit hours through KU and Barton, plus his regular night-shift at the JDC.

I feel depressed just thinking about it.

I could live with sunny days, children running around making messes, and a beautiful bronze tan all year long.

House tour 2013: our kitchen

We are still plugging away on making house updates since The Great Flood of 2012. I thought I would share some semi-updated pictures of the kitchen. I’ve already changed some things since I took these pictures anyways. I’m behind with life. Always.

The before, taken in August 2010, and shortly after we moved in:

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The after, taken in January 2013, roughly 2.5 years after moving in:

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The process of painting cabinets is a long and drawn one and requires lots of patience. This isn’t going to be a ‘how to’ post. Google that shit, man. I will, however, give you our quick and dirty version cause I am nice like that. First, we removed everything and did a quick sanding of the cabinet doors and faces. Note: You will have a nice layer of sand covering EVERY SURFACE IN YOUR HOUSE. Next we wiped everything down with a deglosser. Finally, we added three (THREE!) coats of Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Artist Canvas. Paint, wait, paint, wait, paint, wait. REPEAT.

Start to finish: over three weeks. Partly because I could only work when Cora was napping and/or sleeping. Also because Matt works full-time and does need to sleep a little.

I love how it turned out and I am 100,000 times happier with my kitchen. The wall color is the same as our living room  (pictures pre-new floor). The cabinets are a nice creamy color and are (so far) holding up really well. It definitely gets dirty but I think it’s because I have the world’s dirtiest roommates. We have had a couple of chips already but they are mostly contained to the counter top edge. I do believe that new (cough, cough granite in my dreams cough) countertops will fix that problem. Cora also decided to take a nice bite out of the edge.

I live with animals, people.

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Another big change is that we decided to take down the kitchen table. I can’t decide if it is too weird or not. Right now I just like the big, open feel plus it gives us the excuse to eat at the formal dining room table instead of on the stools. My hobby is moving furniture around, so we’ll see how long it lasts this way. We haven’t done anything with the random too long light fixture yet.

Here is the other wall. We still need to repaint the trim around the chalkboard wall. And we are working on staining ALL the trim to match the new floor for the entire downstairs. We had stain created at the paint store but (like everything) home repairs take time.

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The to-do list (stain and hang the trim, fix the light fixture, buy countertops (ha ha), pick a back splash, find a new chair for the computer, continue replacing the outlet covers) just never ends.

My night job

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Hmmm…I wonder what Audrey does for a day (afternoon/evening) job?” You know, after I have spent my morning and afternoon chasing after these rowdy children? No? You haven’t thought that before?

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I work for Lawrence Parents as Teachers. We provide services for families with children ages 3 and under who reside in the Lawrence Public School district area.

  • Q: What does Parents as Teachers do?
  • A: Using research-based curriculum, we partner with parents providing support, skills, and knowledge they need to help them make the best decisions regarding their child’s development and education.
  • Q: What services are included?
  • A: We provide home visits (about 10 per year) to help you learn about child development, playgroups for parent-child interaction, developmental, health, vision, and hearing screenings and informational resources for parents.
  • Q: Are there requirements families must meet to receive your services?
  • A: We serve all families with children prenatal to age 3. More than half of the families we serve have one or more risk factors, such as a low income, single parents or teen parents, and low birth-weight babies. But we believe that parents are the first and best teacher of their children, so we provide support for parents of all incomes.
  • Q: How do the services benefit children?
  • A: Research has found that most children who have been through PAT’s program are significantly more advanced in language, social development, problem solving and other intellectual skills. Our program has been found to reduce placement in special education and lower the incidence of abuse and neglect.
  • Q: How do you learn about PAT in your area?
  • A: Contact your local school district. If you are a local Lawrence friend, you can ask me directly. I can enroll any family with children under the age of three to participate. Who wouldn’t love having me come over and gush about your adorable, charming, delightful baby?
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I’m trying really hard to be really good at my job. Honestly. I want to be good at this ‘parent educator’ gig. I want to help parents be better, smarter, more lovable parents to their babies through education and support. I still have so much to learn.
The irony of the situation is that I am not a perfect parent. No way. No sir. I hope my families understand that. I have kids that back talk (SIMON)  and can’t be bothered to pick up after themselves (BENNETT) and COMPLAIN ALL THE TIME (BOTH OF THEM). I have a baby (who is hardly a baby anymore and is ALMOST two) that refuses to eat (most) foods and doesn’t sleep through the night without nursing and has very little expressive language.
Now, if only I knew somebody that could come over and help me.
Then I’d really be good at my night job.

Maple flooring {installed!}

 

I have a floor again!! Four solid days of installation and it is done. @mtpoolie is the bomb.com.

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Here you go, Mom. Also Dad? Matt rocked the floor. It’s straight and it’s beautiful and he didn’t screw it up. Not that you doubted him or anything. Worth every single penny that we paid too. {We paid a lot of pennies too.}

For those that asked on Facebook, we went with an engineered hardwood. It is hand scraped maple floor by Hallmark Hardwoods. The flooring is 9/16” thick, has a 25 year warranty, and a 4 mm., sawn cut, solid, wear surface. Fancy talk for ‘can be sanded and refinished’ just like solid hardwood.

More before/after pictures soon. Promise. We’ve got to get the trim stained and put back up, the laundry room tiled, and a few other projects to complete.  Life is such a work in progress.

Cora Bean grow so slow

21 lbs fully clothed. Pretty sure at least a pound of that is bow.   15 months and 22 lbs, 4 oz of pure joy.

13 months: 21 lbs, 6 oz.     15 months: 22 lbs, 4 oz.

Weight check: 17 months, 23 lbs.   19 (almost 20) months and 23 lbs. #growinggirl #nakedbabyonascale

 17 months: 23 lbs, 3 oz.     19 months: 23 lbs, 9 oz.

In the beginning,  when babies are tiny teeny, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in weight, weight gain, and percentiles. I’m not saying that I’m not guilty of playing the weight gain game (Who is still putting her baby naked on the scale? NOT ME) because I totally am but now weighing her is mostly just for fun. It’s no longer stressful to wonder if she gained and how much. When I say “fun” I really mean “cry in disbelief” because my little baby keeps getting bigger and bigger despite my wishes.

I am thankful that she continues to gain at a slower pace. Babies grow so much and so fast the first year. Right now, I feel like we can enjoy this season of little change. Each picture is a slightly different but I especially think in that last picture CJ looks so long and leggy. I bet that means she’s going to be tall. (#familyjoke. Only my sister is going to get that one.) Speaking of leggy, she learned how to crawl out of her crib this week. The crib that she BARELY sleeps in and now she can easily crawl out. Awesome.

I wonder how long I can keep these pictures up? Something tells me girlfriend isn’t going to want to pose naked on a scale much longer.

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If you are local to Lawrence and have a little one, feel free to come check out BIBS. BIBS is a breastfeeding support group that meets Wednesday evenings at 6:30 at the Health Department. I help facilitate the group as one of the Mentor Moms. You can find me in the back, near the scale, taking crazy pictures of my naked baby.

(Just kidding on that last part.)

(I only take pictures every other month.)

(You should really check out BIBs, though.)

Peace, love, and boobs,

Audrey

Christmas 2012

It doesn’t feel right to write about anything until I share our Christmas first. I know, I know. I’m like two weeks behind. We went to Wichita to spend time with Matt’s family before heading to Great Bend to be with my side.

I keep saying this but SOME DAY I AM GOING TO MAKE A BLOG BOOK. Heaven forbid I look back and wonder what happened to Christmas 2012. I get that nobody cares, so scroll quickly. SPOILER ALERT: I took a lot of pictures and we had a great time.

We started with church on Christmas Eve-Eve.

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The next day, Santa came to visit Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Santa was the real deal too- complete with a (real!) full beard and big belly. We successfully blew Simon’s and Bennett’s mind. Except not Cora. Cora was HIGHLY unimpressed with the Big Man.

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I find it shocking that Simon still believes. I know that other children his age have stopped believing. So far, so good.

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After Santa came and we ate way too much good food, we sent the kids to bed. Santa and our parents were good to my family this year. Baby dolls (many, many, many different ones), an iPad, Legos, books, new shoes, nerf guns, and new clothes for everyone. Matt also got a nail gun/air compressor which has already been used.

We’re so thankful for all the gifts we received. If only this could count as a thank you note. Still got to get those finished. #mybad

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Cora Jane was a HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE, NO GOOD sleeper on Christmas Eve. She seriously screamed for over an hour during the night. We almost let her sleep through Christmas morning but then the Mama guilt kicked in and I woke her up just as we were starting.

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After she woke up, she caught on quickly.

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Grandma and Grandpa with all the cousins. Not everyone is looking but Cora is about .3 seconds from screaming. Trust me. We don’t need to see any sad Cora pictures.

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Ending with the beginning another family picture. I prefer the first one.

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Wasn’t that fun? Still here? Good! Next up, I’ll share Christmas with my family and our road trip to Colorado. After that, I promise to pick up with the house updates.

I know you’re excited. Almost as much as Cora being forced to sit on Santa’s lap.

Welcome

So here we go. A new year, a new blog. I’ve decided to break up with my old LiveJournal site. Listen, LJ, it’s not personal, it’s business. I’ve moved on.

The most important reason for leaving LJ was that the commenting system sucked balls. Blogging isn’t just about the comments but it is about having a community and connecting with others. Nobody could leave a comment ever. The system just didn’t work and after 5 years of the same struggle, I’m ready to write in a different place. I’m ready to grow as a blogger.

Speaking of, I think it’s important to note that I’m not in this to grow a huge readership or to make money with advertisements. I’m in this to record the story of my family. And maybe make some people laugh.

In five years time, I’ve written a lot of words, taken a lot of pictures, and shared a lot of my opinions. Luckily, I was able to transfer all 690+ entries to this new site, so feel free to take a gander through my archives. Everything (except the comments I did receive) should be all there. If you subscribe via Google Reader, please update the link. You can also follow via email. Click the link below.

MOM- UPDATE YOUR FAVORITES. THIS IS MY NEW SITE. Speaking of new, here is my new kitchen. Pretty snazzy, huh? My husband is a rock star.

You know what happens after lunch? Quiet time. #amen #currentview #quiettimeismyfavoritetime

So thanks for reading along, friends. Here’s to a new year and new blog!