Friday, July 30, 2010

Rhett's Updated Room

For some time I've thought that Rhett's room needed updating. It felt more like a "baby's" room and not a "little guy's" room. When we changed the bed, I thought it was a great opportunity to make additional changes. I wanted his room to be a place where he wanted to hang out and be, not just a room for sleeping and changing diapers. I think we're definitely closer to that goal. Here are some of the things we did:

1. The curtains came around the summer solstice. Rhett had been waking with the sun...around 5 a.m. Obviously this was quite unacceptable so we went right out and found some new curtains. I'm pleased with these. (Now if only it would cool down some so we could keep the curtains open during the day.)

2. We ditched the overflowing stacks of books and pile of animals by sorting them into four groups. We then rotate these four groups every week. I can't believe what a difference this has made in our ability to control the mess. Every Monday before bed time, Chuck makes the switch and Rhett loves the "new" animals and the "new" books that get brought from their "sabbaticals." We like it because reading the same books over and over quickly gets old.

3. We added the little table and the bean bag chair. The table can be used for drawing, crafting, etc. and the bean bag chair for reading. His interest in doing these things in his room have definitely increased since the redesign.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Like a Finding a Dollar in Your Jacket

You know when it gets cooler and you can start wearing jackets, so you put on your jacket for the first time since last year and Woohoo! In the pocket is a dollar! Or if you're really rich, $5!

That's how I felt when Chuck took off the videos from the camera recently: all these sweet videos I forgot were there. So here are a couple of fun ones.

Rhett started breakdancing this week. Pretty awesome.

My nephew kills a pinata at the family reunion.

And I just like the way he says "movie" and "buffalo."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Today's Burst

I recently read a book in which the author said that life was made up of "bursts." These bursts were either big ones (like getting married or turning 16) or little ones (like finding a dollar in your pants). I have been thinking about these bursts ever since. I love the idea of them because I see my life frequently being buoyed by these mini-bursts. Like the day we had an earthquake. That was totally awesome. And this past Saturday I got to eat my all-time favorite french toast at Eastern Market. Yesterday was a double mini-burst day: I got to eat dinner with good friends and watch an awesome storm roll through my area. The temperature went from 97 to 72 in 10 minutes. The winds knocked down trees (one of them landed on a hood of a moving car--eek!). I love to see nature in action like that. And today, my mini-burst was free parking at the metro because it was still without power due to the storm.

What about you? Had any mini-bursts lately?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hypothetically Speaking...

Let's say that it's been ridiculously hot and humid where you live. And let's say this heat and humidity have been constant since late May. Let's also say that last Saturday, the air conditioning in your house went out, making you feel even hotter and you've never quite recovered. Then let's say that you just got back from mowing the lawn in the hot hot grossness and your shower didn't take. Now let's say that because your regular pajama pants were in the dirty clothes, you were left with wearing sweat pants (not to worry, these are good sweat pants--no elastic around the ankles, I promise). Finally, let's say that your totally awesome crafty wife offered to make you NEW pajama pants that night; as in, you'd be free of the hot hot sweat pants and transformed into a light, cool creature of the night. The very small catch being that these new pajamas would be made of this fabric. What would you do? (Oh yeah, and hypothetically speaking, let's just say you're a male.)

At least Rhett let me make him into a ghost with it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Behold...the Bed!

Last week Rhett's crib finally was finally included in the mass of recalled cribs. I called the company and was told that the drop-side-fixing part could be expected sometime in August. AUGUST. Until then, we're not supposed to be using the crib for fear of death (his, not ours). So while this didn't really freak me out, I thought it was a great impetus to get Rhett into a toddler bed.

I saw this tutorial from Design Mom a year ago and knew it was what I wanted. One of our resolutions this year was to create more traditions and I wanted one of those traditions to be to "build something together." These beds looked easy enough, even for us novice power tool users.

We bought the wood supplies on Thursday and put the frame together that night. Don't you love that I'm working in a skirt? That's how easy this project was: I could have done it in heels (if I owned heels, that is). Friday afternoon we bought the fabric, and Friday evening Chuck did the upholstery whilst I made the decorative pillow. Saturday morning we loaded the bed into his room.

Of course we were nervous about how Rhett would do. Because this had only come up that week, we hadn't really been prepping him about his new "little guy" bed. However, the only hang-up we had at naptime was that he desperately wanted to sleep with the decorative pillow and was crying when I told him no. I relented; sadly, though, because our A/C broke that day and Rhett demands a blanket so the pillow was drenched in sweat upon his waking. But once that pillow was his, he was back to his usual, "Go away Mom. Go away Dad." We knew he'd be fine; though we did wonder when he'd first fall out of it.

At nighttime I was able to convince him that the decorative pillow needed to go to sleep in the other room and he's been dutifully putting that pillow to sleep ever since. It's been another easy transition for this kid! (Too bad the transition to the new nursery room on Sunday wasn't this easy.) He seems to really love the bed and can easily get in and out of it. He even wanted to spend time in his room on Saturday and sit on the bed. Oh, I love this boy!

A couple of notes about making the bed. First, it cost us nearly $60 for everything. The fabric was more than Gabrielle's estimate (well, that and I made the additional pillow); and because we made the bed to fit a standard crib mattress, our wood was also more expensive. However, $60 is still a great deal. Second, it really was ridiculously easy. The only tools we needed were a drill and a saw, and the latter was only because we miscalculated on something and didn't use the guys at Home Depot. If you decide to do this and want the dimensions for a standard crib, let me know and I'll get them to you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Conversations with a Two-Year-Old

Let me start by saying that I am absolutely in love with this little boy. I know I say that every new age/phase is my favorite, but this one is FOR REALS. I love two-year-olds (or at least this one). He's so active (he skips everywhere he goes) and good and funny and lovable and brave and (mostly) obedient and sweet and I could eat him up. Seriously, I love this age and could skip everything baby just to get to now. He's saying funny (to us) things all the time. We think that we understand about 90% of what he says, while others might get about 20-25%. This mutual uderstanding certainly keeps everyones' frustration levels at a minimum. Here are some of the latest things that have made us laugh.

Me: Where does an octopus live?
Rhett: At the octopus house.
Me: Where is the octopus house?
Rhett: Far away. [He learned the idea of "far away" when we were in Idaho; he kept telling us that he wanted to go to "Rhett's house" and we kept telling him that his house is "far away."]

Rhett: Rhett make swimming pool! [After spitting into his hands, and before getting chastised for being gross.]

Me: What did you do at the mall today?
Rhett: See a man not come. [He and Chuck waited for some kid entertainer who never showed.]

Me: What does it mean to be glad? [After Rhett picked out a library book about being glad.]
Rhett: When Dada come home!

Rhett: Blue car has a good parking space.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Fun Math Problem

This plus this plus this equals my (nearly) daily lunch over the past two weeks. Am I the luckiest girl in the world or what!?

P.S. I was awoken this morning at a little after 5:00 a.m. by a magnitude 3.6 EARTHQUAKE. That's right. I spent nearly half of my life living right on the Wasatch Fault and never felt anything. I have to move to the middle of a plate in Maryland to feel an earthquake. In a word? It was AWESOME.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We Left a 2-Bedroom House...

...and came back to a 3-bedroom house! How? We enlarged the window in the basement room (where Chuck and I have been living for the past year) and made it a legal bedroom. We can't believe how much more light comes through this large area and are thrilled to have a safe exit in case of emergency. Plus, we are sure it will more than pay for itself when we go to sell our house (in 20 years). The price difference between a two- and three-bedroom house is huge!

Before: (outside and in)

After: (excuse the messy room)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Family Reunion: Part 3

Random musings about the trip:
  • The hottest temperature recorded on our trip? The 87 degrees at 11:00 at night...when we returned to our car at Dulles. Blech.
  • We drove through more stoplights in the two miles between the parking lot and getting on the Dulles Toll Road than the entire previous week.
  • It was really bright there; I mean it. The sun must be more intense given the humidity-free air, the altitude, and the latitude. (I'm making this up; but it kinda makes sense, right?)
  • Now that I'm a mom and wife, it's hard to travel to places where I spent a lot of time as a single person. I want to spend all day hiking in Yellowstone and the Tetons and all night playing in West Yellowstone...not being concerned about whether or not a two-year-old will be amenable to these things. It was a little depressing.
  • It's really important for me to leave a clean house so that when I return from vacation totally drained and melancholy, at least I don't have to clean my house.
  • If I could somehow figure out how to earn enough money (or get Chuck to earn enough money) to live in the Yellowstone/Teton area, I'd put our house up for sale tomorrow today.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Family Reunion: Part Flashback

This picture was taken circa 1985 on top of Sawtelle Peak. It's my sister and me; aren't we adorable?

This picture was taken circa 2010. I might have changed but the mountain sure has not!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Family Reunion: Part 2

Since before I was born, my paternal grandparents have had a cabin in Mack's Inn, Idaho (outside of West Yellowstone). After my family moved to Utah when I was twelve, we spent many long weekends up there in the summers.

When Chuck's family decided to start holding an every-three year family reunion, I thought, Great! And when his brother planned this inaugural event to be held in Mack's Inn, Greater! It was so much fun to be in a place where I spent so much time as a young person. I loved it. It doesn't hurt that it's simply beautiful, has great weather, and my parents came up during the week we were there.

Here are the highlight photos. We played puzzles, went into the park and saw buffaloes and geysers, drove to the top of Sawtelle (Rhett was enamored by the "big ball on top of the mountain"), went canoeing on Henry's Fork and found a still-unidentified egg, played in the river, ran a race, saw plenty of family, watched a 48-minute-long fireworks show (no lie), and kissed a potato. Flying in and out of Jackson Hole was just the icing on the cake.