Friday, June 28, 2013


i cannot explain how happy i am that summer is finally here.  we had such long, cold, snowy spring and i was beginning to feel like it would never be warm enough for flip flops or dinners outside.  i think i was completely spoiled by last years spring, which came so early.  anyway, now that it's here i'm trying to enjoy it before fall comes too quickly.  it always feels like summer is the shortest season of the year.  
we've been enjoying popsicles, eating all of our snacks outside on the front porch, trips to the playground, and hot, sweaty naps. 

we're ready for the fourth, although i have no idea what we'll be doing.  i may have to make a blueberry pie because looking at that one makes me hungry.

avery's been playing with her water table almost every day and we've been walking a lot and taking advantage of cool parks.

we had the perfect beach day when we were back east, although it made me wish we were close enough to come every weekend.  we played outside in the rain and finally broke in our fire pit one night after avery went to bed.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

18 months!

i cannot believe that avery is 18 months.  i feel like the time just goes faster and faster.  and i know i always say this but she's at such a cool age right now and is so fun to be around.  she's really communicating a lot and has recently started putting two words together.  "oh no" is her current favorite thing to say and can mean anything from "oh no, i dropped my snack" to "oh no, henry is looking at me weird".  she says it all.the.time.  hilarious and a bit annoying at times.  


she's still not walking full time.  are you surprised?  she can walk and she does walk but on her own terms.  the doctor wasn't worried saying that she would get there in her own time frame, which made me feel better.  i've always felt that she's been a super cautious kid, which among other things has led to her being a late walker.  she was actually doing a lot of walking before our trip back east and then sort of stopped for a while when we were there since everyone was carrying her around.  she's really into walking while holding your hand, which is a nice change from before when she would throw a fit if you attempted that.  

she still loves her animals.  now more than ever really.  and they are so incredibly patient with her that sometimes i don't think she realizes how lucky she is.  ollie is a clear favorite and he's the recipient of most of her hugs, kicks, eye pokes, tail pulls, and hearty pats.  he is the most tolerant cat that i've ever met, even letting her sit on top of him.  she loves the dogs, too and i do think that they missed her when she was gone as they've been extra nice since we got back.  i'm especially proud of grumpy henry.  


she loves the water.  the pool, the ocean, her splash table, and even washing her hands at the sink.  and she definitely prefers outside to inside.   


she still loves her books and has been reading to herself a lot lately, sometimes even preferring that to us reading to her.  i love watching her read and really hope that her love for books continues.  when we were flying it was the books that kept her entertained for the longest.  

she's a pretty good eater and will try just about anything.  favorites are fruit, pasta, pickles, and anything that we're eating.  she can be picky in that if i offer her yogurt she'll turn it down and then when i eat it that's all she wants.


she's sleeping well at night, although the traveling and the time changes has thrown her for a loop.  she was a mess when we first got to maryland and then has been waking up super early since we got back. she's definitely still on east coast time and i'm hoping that in a few more days she'll adjust back to mountain time.  


she loved the beach this month and i'm so excited to take her again in a few months.  


she can be a little weary of strangers and definitely does not like them touching her or me.  something that i've learned after a few doctors appointments.  her 18 month checkup was a little sad because as soon as we walked in she started saying 'no, no, no' like she knew exactly what was going to happen and was not at all okay with it.

i've loved having all of this time with her and watching her grow up.  it makes me a little sad at times that she won't get as much one on one time as she get's now.  her favorite thing is when all three of us are hanging out together, but hopefully in a few months having four of us will be just as exciting to her.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2 weeks in maryland

we got back a few days ago from spending two weeks in maryland.  charlie actually only stayed for one week but avery and i stayed for two.  i was lucky enough to be able to work remotely that second week while my mom watched avery, which was amazing.  i feel like we did a lot in 2 weeks but i'm cramming all of these pictures into one post because otherwise i'll never finish writing it.  

our families are about 3 hours apart so we always end up splitting the trip into two parts:  one on the eastern shore and one in the d.c. area.  this time we all met at the baltimore aquarium to take avery and her cousin there and then we headed back to the eastern shore for a few days.  i forgot our camera (of course) so all i have are iphone pictures and i don't have any of the aquarium.  avery really liked it although it was a little long for her attention span.  we're used to the denver aquarium, which is smaller. we even skipped a few exhibits at the end because everyone was hungry and the kids had just had enough.  






one of the things that i knew we had to do was to take avery to the beach.  she had been to see the ocean when we were back in october but i wanted to do a real beach day with her so that she could play in the sand and the ocean.  she loved the beach.  she could have stayed there forever.  we have another trip planned to california in september and it was nice to see she was so into it.  she was happy to dig and play in the sand all day, the ocean was freezing but she did really well with it.  we took her in a few times and even took her out to a sandbar for a bit and she had a blast.  


it was also really fun to watch her play with her cousin.  she adored him and was happy to watch him and follow him around the entire time that we were there.  it's always so cool to see them together and it always makes me wish we lived closer so these trips weren't so far apart.  we took them to ride some rides in ocean city and avery surprised me with how into the rides she was and how happy she was to do them alone.  the carousel was a favorite but impossible to get a picture of.



we came back to d.c. in time for a wonderful wedding.  charlie and i had our second and third 'date nights' at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding, which was fun although i'm always happy to head home to avery.  the wedding was beautiful and they had the perfect weather for it.




the next day was father's day and also when charlie left for denver.  sort of a lame father's day for him although it was nice for me to see my dad and spend the day with him.  i watched him assemble a dresser for my sister so i don't think that anyone had a really relaxing father's day.  my mom made crab cakes and blueberry pie for dinner that night, which pretty much made the entire visit.  and avery gave everyone the gift of screaming through the whole meal.  we went to d.c. the next day to attempt the zoo or a few museums.  unfortunately it was really crowded so after the american history museum we ended up heading back.



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 squeezed in some visits with friends after work the next few days.  always so cool and weird to be sitting with a friend from college and watching your kids play together.  we had plans to head to the university of maryland pool, which would have been so cool but since it rained all day we watched our kids splash around in puddles, gave them a joint bath, and then took them out for ice cream.






and it was also really nice just to hang out with family and have avery spend some decent time with them.  she really loved everyone, especially the animals.



it was also really nice to get back home and see charlie.  the last 10 minutes on the plane avery kept saying "daddy, daddy, daddy" so i think she was happy to see him and i know she was happy to see the animals.  avery and i came home to a clean house, clean dogs, and presents from charlie.  so i'm guessing he missed us, too.  and it was really, really nice to have a clean house to start the week with.    

Sunday, June 2, 2013

our house: one year later

we closed on our house last year on april 30th although for some reason i've always remembered it as march 30th.  we moved on may 18th, which means we've been living in this house for just over a year. i thought it would be fun to look back and see what it looked like when we moved and what it looks like now.  this is mostly for me and also for charlie so that when he complains that we haven't done anything to this house i have proof that he's wrong.  

when we moved in we actually had a pretty long list of things that we needed/wanted to get done based on our home inspection.  the sellers refused to fix anything and threw a measly few thousand dollars our way instead.  we actually almost walked away, i had even called our real estate agent telling him no deal, but he talked me into taking their crappy offer anyway.  now that we're here, i'm glad we stayed, especially knowing what the market is like right now.  however, it did mean that we've spent a lot of money fixing things that aren't much fun.  the first thing we did was have a radon mitigation system installed and a vapor barrier installed in the crawl space and underneath our basement.  we were actually the crazy people who went with a radon barrier instead of just a vapor barrier but i don't regret one penny that we spent on all that.  the radon levels were just above the action level in our house but that was something i wasn't willing to mess with.  we also had all of the windows caulked and repainted and then slowly went about fixing all of the other non-immediate items on our list.  

Outside Front:  then

shrubs before.

Outside Front:  now

DSC_0015 DSC_0017

i don't really have good pictures of the entire front.  must work on that.  we cut a lot of the shrubs way back, cut down the dead tree, replaced part of our driveway and walke way, and added furniture to the porch.  charlie's done a lot of work outside here.  we've talked about eventually planting a tree (i think our hoa requires one), but haven't decided on what kind yet.

Outside Back: then

yard before.

garden before.

Outside Back:  now




we had the deck repainted, replaced the awning, replaced the cracked patio with stamped concrete, built a firepit, and did a lot of weeding and pruning.

we're still are looking for a table that actually fits the built in bench area, i'd like to hang cafe lights over the patio, and we want to plant trees around the deck to provide some shade in the summer.  we also still need to figure out what to do with the garden area.  it gets a ton of sun and the rabbits are everywhere in our yard (the cats/dogs have gotten 4 that i know of so far this year) so i'm worried that anything we plant will just get eaten.  i've thought about doing containers (large and high) but i'm still worried it will be too hot and dry for vegetables.

Family Room:  then

family room before.

family room before.

Family Room: now



we replaced the carpets with engineered hardwood.  they've held up pretty well considering we have two large dogs but charlie does freak out about the scratches.  we built picture ledges, got a new tv stand with drawers (handy with a baby), got new end tables and an ottoman for the chair and a half.  we also replaced the big picture window because the seal was broken.   

i still need to hem those curtains (yes, one year later) and there's some pictures i want to change out but overall there's nothing left to do in this room.  i love that we don't have a coffee table right now and we spend a lot of time playing on that rug with avery.

Living Room: then

living room before.

Living Room: now



we painted the walls (moonshine) and trim, replaced the carpet with engineered hardwood, got a love seat and bookcase for avery's toys.

this room has been through several different stages.  first it was empty, then we got the love seat and had two bookshelves, and eventually we turned it into a office/playroom.  this is where i work now and i have to say it's so much nicer working on the main level and having all of avery's toys and a lot of her books where i work.  this room gets a lot of use, we read books on the couch all the time, avery plays all over the rug, and it's nice for her to be able to run all over the main level instead of being stuck in one room during the day.

eventually i want to replace the light above the door.

Kitchen: then

kitchen before.

Kitchen: now





we painted the walls (dune grass by benjamin moore) and trim, painted the pantry door with chalkboard paint, got a new table, replaced the hardware on the cabinets, and replaced the brown glass tiled backsplash with white subway tile.

we still need to replace the hardware on the island and i've debated about eventually painting it a fun color.  we also want to build a bench behind the table, get chairs for the table, and replace the lights.  i just haven't found anything yet that i like and that's also affordable.

Half Bath/Laundry Room:  then

half bath before.

Half Bath/Laundry Room: now

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this is a really tiny room and it gets a lot of use.  we painted the walls (sesame by benjamin moore), replaced the hardware in the bathroom, replaced the washer and dryer, and added a shelf to the tops.

eventually we may paint the beadboard.  this is the only room in the house that still has the original cream trim, but i haven't reached a point where i thought that painting the beadboard was worth the effort.  i'd still like to add a picture or too in here, but it's pretty much done.

Avery's Room: now




i don't have an original picture of this room.  it was mostly white, with wood trim and doors, and a brown accent wall.  we painted the room pink and the trim and doors white.  i'll never be able to replicate the wall color because it was diluted in the paint store and then again when we went to paint.  changed out the hardware on the doors and cleaned the carpets.

this room will evolve as she gets older.  when she's no longer in diapers we'll probably take back our dresser and give her ours and eventually she'll be in a bed.

Third Bedroom:  then

avery's room before.

Third Bedroom:  now


we painted the walls, trim, and doors.  this room will be the second baby's room and obviously we're in need of some furniture before that happens.

Guest Bathroom:  then


Guest Bathroom: now



we painted the walls (sesame by benjamin moor), trim, and doors.  we also replaced the curved shower curtain with a straight one.

this is a really tiny bathroom.  eventually i'd like to paint the cabinets white and add a frame around the mirror in white.  charlie also wants to tile the floors.

  Master Bedroom:  then

master bedroom before.

Master Bedroom: now


we painted the walls (grey horse by benjamin moore), trim and doors.

we really didn't do much in here.  i'd like to replace the art over the bed with something brighter.  maybe some canvases, i'm not really sure.  i also really want to paint those end tables.  something i've been saying for years.  maybe this summer?

Master Retreat/Office:  then

retreat before.

retreat before.

Master Retreat/Office: now



this room has also been through a few changes.  for a while this was where both charlie and i worked until i moved downstairs.  we painted the walls (moonshine by benjamin moore) and trim and removed all of the shelving that was in the room before.

i currently hate the way the room is set up, but since charlie likes it and he's the one working here i'm letting it go.  i want to move the futon to the back wall and move the desk to facing the larger wall, but it's not worth the effort at this point.  we also need some window treatments in here.  i've been thinking a bamboo shade.

Master Bathroom: then

Master bath.

this is the one room that we haven't touched aside from remove the valance that i hate.  i want to paint it the same color as the third bedroom.  it has a window but there's a bunch of aspen trees in front that block a lot of light.  when we do that we'll remove all of the weirdly placed towel racks.  we have plans to paint this in june when we get back from maryland.  i also want to stain the cabinets something dark and build a frame around the mirror.  charlie also wants to tile this bathroom, too.

Basement:  then



Basement:  now

i don't have a real before picture of this space.  this was after the ceilings were painted, which were the same lovely color as those brown doors.  we painted the ceiling, walls, trim, and doors.  added a sectional and moved all of our random furniture down here.  we also just recently got a train table for avery that is now sitting where the coffee table is.

we still need window treatments and art.  i want to get rid of the furniture that we're not going to use.  we've also thought about putting a fireplace down here under the t.v..  this room is pretty cold all year long.  

overall i feel like we got a lot accomplished in the past year.  we completed everything big that was on our list and now just have some smaller (hopefully, cheaper) things left to do.  there's always spaces that could use decorating or some project but i feel good that we knocked most of the major things off our list.  i'm sure as our family grows our house will evolve with it.  sort of like the train table that i always said i would never have.