Friday, March 30, 2012

Nineteen Months

Nineteen months… Riley-bean is getting way too close to two, in more ways than one.

He weighs 27lbs and stands 33 inches tall.

Here’s what I want to remember about this past month:

  • He didn’t try too many new foods this month, just salmon and fishsticks as far as I can remember. He is still eating well, although not as much this past month as usual. Is it possible he’s not growing as much right now? He looks awfully big to me!
  • He is talking mostly in phrases right now but the thing to note is that he is talking all the time: concrete mixer (“micka-maker”), later alligator, cauliflower (“cocky-lauer”), uh-oh spaghetti o’s (“lay-le-lows”), go get it, naked boy, chew it up, go see ‘em, eat it, yo!, looking at, who dat. He also knows what Uncle Jeff says: “Okay so.”
  • But my favorite thing he says now? When I ask him, “Guess what?” He responds with, “I love you.” SO sweet.
  • He is starting to string words together all on his own: red car, purple truck, green shirt, blue towel; more cereal, more juice, more cheese; Nopsi’s car, Mama’s book, Nola’s shoe. He’s also starting to understand concepts more: for instance, he’ll come into my room and say “mess” and then follow with “clean it up” if he’s made a mess in his room.
  • Overall, his pronunciation is improving so much.
  • He still loves reading books, and he actually knows the words in many of his favorite books. He also correctly identifies many books by one of the title words. He knows “Pookie” from Let’s Dance Little Pookie and the whole Sesame Street gang from the “Hop” book.
  • He knows Chuck, Rowdy, Tucker, Boomer, and Handy from the “Chuck and Friends” line.
  • He loves to be sung certain songs and requests them at night: Old MacDonald (“e-i”), Hush Little Baby (“baby”), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (“star”). He also loves to “rock-rock” and will request this all throughout the day, especially if he falls down or bumps his head. It’s his comfort!
  • I still love to describe him as busy: “Riley, what are you doing?” “Play-ying.” He plays so well by himself, and he still loves his cars and trucks. However, he is starting to rebel a bit against stopping playtime to eat a meal or take a nap.
  • He likes to pretend random things are airplanes: asparagus, cereal, trucks, his hands, etc. Too funny.
  • Nola started the tradition of having parades in the bathtub with him with his bath toys, and now we have parades all the time, with pinecones, blueberries, and popcorn.
  • QP started teaching him French months ago, and he’s actually picked up on it quite well. He inserts a random French word every now and then when he talks (“bleu” and “pleu”), and he also can respond to a simple question asked in French with the correct English word. Amazing!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Statement

Moving into…..


…..a new house…..


…..that isn’t brand new…..


… the epitome of time-consuming.


That is all.

Friday, March 23, 2012

All It Takes Is a Fresh Coat of Paint

The fresh paint on the walls of our new house continues to spread, and I am so happy with the colors that we picked. Of course, almost anything would have looked better than the original colors, but that’s beside the point. (Seriously, though, who puts four different bright colors on walls right next to each other??? Insane.)


We decided to keep the main living area colors very similar to what we had in our last house because we liked them so much. We went with Valspar’s “Winter Wheat” in the front entry and hallway, living and dining rooms, half bath, stairwell, upstairs landing, and upstairs full bath. This color was the first one opened, and I loved it immediately.

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In the kitchen, laundry room, breakfast area, and back hallway, we chose a Martha Stewart Glidden color called “Sealing Wax,” which is a rusty red reminiscent of a color in our first house. I was a little worried when I first saw the red painted on the wall, but I think it just looked strange next to the original baby blue. As of Wednesday, there was no longer any blue visible, and the red looks so warm and rich on those walls. It also looks great with the natural wood cabinets and black countertops in the kitchen. Another good choice!

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For the guest bedroom and bathroom, previously painted turquoise blue and pale pink, respectively, I really wanted to find a purple that wasn’t too offensive. Luckily, Behr’s “Heather Plume” did the trick. I’m hoping the purple will go well with the furniture, bedding, shower curtain, and towels I already have, but the room will have to be set up completely before I’ll really be able to tell. This color isn’t Kenny’s favorite, but I’m so excited to have a purple set of rooms in the new house, and hopefully any guests we have over will think so too!

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We chose another Martha Stewart Glidden color, “Schoolhouse Slate,” for the master suite (bedroom, bathroom, and closets). It’s a pretty blue-gray color with just a touch of green in it that I think will look great with our furniture and bedding. When the slate had only been cut in, it was really hard to picture it covering the entire wall, especially next to the original turquoise in the bedroom and then the pale pink in the bathroom. It actually looked like two different colors in each of those rooms.

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But once the walls were completely rolled with the new color, I really liked the result. (Note: the lighting is off in a lot of these pics; it looks much better in person.)


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The only other color needed was for the two upstairs bedrooms, Riley’s room and the office. We went with Behr’s “Antique Leather,” a pretty grayish brown, for both of those rooms. That is the last color to be painted, so it isn’t open yet. But I can’t wait for that green room to be turned into Riley’s room!



Two coats have been necessary in every room in the house, and then the last thing left to do is the trim. The crown molding was painted first, and it really is amazing what a fresh coat of white can do. We’ll have to replace the crown molding in the dining room, paint it white, and then install it, but that shouldn’t be too bad. One of the first things we did was to take down the original plastic, grape-infused crown molding and throw it in the garbage, right where it needed to be. Talk about tacky!



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Another major undertaking was painting the exterior of the house. We decided to do all of that ourselves, including changing the color of the front. We chose Benjamin Moore’s “Kennebunkport Green” as the exterior color. A house down the street from Nola and Nopsi’s is actually painted that color, and I knocked on the door to ask for the name since I liked it so much!

Nopsi and I worked on the exterior color change on Monday, Nopsi cutting in and me rolling. I was a little hesitant with my roller at first, but I soon gained confidence and picked up the pace, allowing us to put one full coat on the front before calling it a day.



Riley even stopped by to help, and I must say he did a fabulous job rolling the sidewalk.


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The green completely changes the appearance of the front, and the clean white trim around the windows, columns, and door only adds to the freshness. My gosh, does the house look different.



We still have to clean and re-install the lanterns, scrape off the white trim paint that got onto the windows in the front and the back of the house, and maybe put a second coat of green on the front (and possibly refinish the front door), but all in all, I’d say we made some pretty darn good progress in our first week of homeownership.

I should have more updates to come next week, so look for those at some point. I apologize for not keeping up with my usual 5-times-a-week posting schedule, but I hope it’s clear why I’m not able to do that right now. :)

And, once again, we can’t thank all of our helpers enough for the work you did for us. Thank you thank you thank you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New House

Well, we’re exhausted, our muscles are aching, and we still have a long way to go, but Kenny and I officially became homeowners again last Thursday.


We have spent every available daylight hour since then either at the house or running errands to get supplies for the house. It’s been non-stop, but we have accomplished so much in just five days. We were spoiled with our first house, which was the definition of move-in ready, but we’re happy to put in the time and effort to make the new one the way we want it. And our efforts? There have been many.


We’ve removed doors, sinks, molding, shutters, faucets, and light fixtures. We’ve wiped down cabinets, swept floors, and cleaned baseboards. We’ve pressure washed porches and sidewalks, weeded gardens and cut grass, and completed almost all of the exterior painting.

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It’s no wonder we’re tired.

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Of course we couldn’t have done all of this without help from a number of truly wonderful people: our family. With Nola watching Riley at her house, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Jeff, and Nopsi have been working their tails off with us at the new house. We can’t thank all of you enough for everything you have done!

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Nola has brought Riley to visit his new house a number of times, and he’s already had his first diaper change on the floor of the living room and kissed the wall of his new bedroom. Crazy kid. And Nola has asked him a number of times in the past few days, “Where’s Mama?” To which he has always responded, “New house!” Smart kid.



And, after much debate, we decided to have the interior of the house professionally painted. We had many willing and able volunteers lined up for a weekend painting party, but I am SO glad we went in the opposite direction. It’s a big house. It would have taken us forever to paint it ourselves. Plus, we’ve been able to tackle so many other things on our list since we didn’t have to paint, and I am so glad about that.


Our new painter friend, Philip, and his crew got started on Sunday. They impressed me with how much they accomplished in just the first six hours, which only reinforced our decision to hire them. I am already confident they will be money most definitely well-spent.

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Especially because the original paint in the house was bright. Really bright. Like, Caribbean island, tropical, crazy bright.


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It’s going to look like a whole new house once Philip and the guys get finished with it.


More house updates, especially concerning the painting, to come later in the week.  In the meantime, keep on sending good energy our way.….we’re going to need it!


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