Wednesday, July 31, 2013


i've been feeling really grateful and content recently.  and i figured it would do me some good to not wait until thanksgiving to make a list of some of the things that i feel really thankful for.  these are some of the 'big' things, although there are about a million little things that i am thankful for on a daily basis, like watching the rain on our front porch with my daughter or when avery sleeps until 7 am or when charlie makes blueberry pancakes.  those things matter, too! 

1.  my job
it's not a perfect job, not a dream job, nor what i pictured myself doing when i was graduating from college.  but, i work with some really good people.  i don't deal with a lot of the workplace drama that i know a large amount of the population does.  i have a great boss, multiple bosses really, because who i technically report to has changed pretty frequently.  everyone has treated me more than fairly and been more than flexible with my schedule both when i was pregnant and then after i had avery.  i can tell you that not many jobs would allow for an employee to return part-time after maternity leave and then stay part-time AND allow them to telecommute.  my days can be pretty crazy but i wouldn't trade the ability to stay working and help provide for our family while being at home with my daughter for anything.  i also feel pretty fortunate to work for a company that i think is actually making a positive difference in the world.  i feel like what i do does matter and what our company does matters as well.  

2.   charlie
i won't write much about charlie because i keep most of that stuff between us.  i will say that i feel really fortunate to be married to a person who is my best friend and who i love more each day.  he's a great role model for avery and a really involved dad.  we can argue with the best of them but we agree on the big, important things.  some of the best times in my life have been nights spent just hanging out with him.  

3.  our house
i really do love our house.  i was freaking out a bit when we first purchased it because it didn't feel like a home, but over the past year it's really become much more than 'just a house'.  it's not huge by any means, which is one of the things that i love about it.  i love that there's still a long list of things that we'd like to do or would want to do for fun to make it even more 'ours' but it more than meets our needs and the needs of our growing family.  our kids won't grow up in a huge place, but hopefully that will make them closer since there are less places to 'escape' to and i definitely see some room sharing in their future.  

4.  avery
she's so much fun.  i love watching her grow up and i love the age that she's at right now.  she's a really sweet kid; i get lots of unprompted kisses and hugs throughout the day.  i cannot wait to watch her grow throughout the years and see the kind of person she becomes.  

5.  avery's brother or sister
charlie and i knew that we wanted more kids after avery but i have to say i always thought that if she was all we 'got' i would consider myself more than blessed.  we are both so excited for this second baby.  i'm even more anxious this time to find out if it's a boy or a girl.  and i'm looking forward to the chaos of 2 babies and the possibility of three december birthdays.  i think having avery makes this even more exciting in a way because not only do we know how awesome it is to have a baby (even if it is really hard!) but we're also so excited to see how avery reacts and for her to have a sibling as she grows up.  

6.  family
we don't live close, although i really do wish that we did, but we have great families.  i really do wish that we were closer to everyone but i feel so thankful that we have people in our lives who make the effort to stay in touch, visit when they can, and be a part of avery's life even if we are far away.  

7.  our crazy animals
they've definitely taken a backseat since avery's come along but they are great companions.  they're all great with avery, even henry the grump and toby the jerk.  they let her get away with things that they would never allow from us.  the dogs also force me to go for walks when i don't want to and the cats are always up for cuddling, unless they're outside hunting rabbits.  they also all get along really well, which is really lucky considering how many people i know who have cats and dogs who hate each other.  

8.  living in colorado
there are definite downsides, like the cost of traveling back to maryland or the fact that we couldn't be farther from the beach.  i also will complain pretty heavily during march and april when it's snowing and all i want are some cherry blossoms.  but we love living here for so many reasons.  i'm really excited to raise a family with so many outdoor activities, the weather is really amazing (except in the spring when i'm over the snow), and we've been able to live a lifestyle out here that would have been much more difficult in the d.c. area.  i also love that people out here are just much more laid back and friendly.  a part of me will always consider d.c. to be home but the longer i'm away the more that i feel out of place when we're back visiting and the more i can't wait to get back to colorado.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

summer 2013: part 2

sick of hearing about summer, yet?  too bad.  this is what gets me through the winter and spring, knowing that long days and warm nights will eventually reappear.  
1.  long walks or short walks, these days.
2.  fires and family.
3.  dogs swimming in the reservoir.
4. strawberries for dessert.

1. the pool.
2.  ice cream.
3.  more family.
4.  friendly goats.

1.  eating next to the open windows at pasta jays.
2.  more pool. 
3.  running around in diapers. 
4.  sharing snacks outside.

1.  even more pool.
2.  eating anything outside.  bonus points if it's a donut.
3.  a dog on a lake.
4.  and yes, more pool.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

lately ...

here's the 'after' and if you're really interested you can see a before here.

... i mentioned that our nightstands finally got painted.  i was planning on painting them a color, but since i couldn't decided and was worried i would end up with another color that i would hate as soon as they were finished i decided to go with white.  my mom actually did the majority of the painting, it took 6 coats and she did the first 5 of them.  but i'm loving the white, especially with our grey walls and dark bedframe.  i also ordered another quilt for the room (our current one has nailpolish spilled all over it), and i'm planning on getting new curtains and giving the current ones to the baby.  i love our room but it always seems like the master bedroom is last on the priority list.  i remember how much time i spent in our room when avery was born and if the same thing happens this time around i wanted to have made the effort to do a few things to make it more cozy.

low eighties and no sun.  perfect.

i think she was showing him some rabbits to chase.

...  the weather has been so amazing here lately.  sometimes i think all i talk about it how amazing summer is but really, summer is amazing and this summer especially has been perfect.  we've been having temperatures in the low to mid 80s, which is pretty much the perfect summer temperature.  its warm enough to do things like go to the pool and play in the water table, but cool enough to take long walks and leave the windows open.  we've even had a few days that have felt like fall, but i'm not willing to go there yet.  avery loves being outside and even when i'm working we spend a decent amount of time out there.  we've actually gotten a lot of use out of our front porch because it's shaded.  we eat our snacks out there and she always insists that henry, dunlin, and the cats come outside with her as well.  she actually get's pretty upset if the cats don't come.  


...  i think charlie and i decided on the crib vs. bed debate and we'll be getting a second crib for this baby.  of course, watch us make this decision and have avery start climbing out of her crib as soon as we get a second one.  while having 2 cribs seems silly, i figure we can always sell one once avery doesn't need it any more and charlie and i have always been more on the side of 'don't rush things'.  i think having a late walker may have helped since we know that she'll do things when she's ready.  now i just have to decide between a grey crib or a white crib.  and really, i don't know why i'm even worried about that since i'm sure the baby won't be sleeping in there for months.  



...  i got avery some fingerpainting supplies and a really cheap canvas at hobby lobby the other day.  i thought it would be fun for her and i had this vision that maybe she would create this masterpiece that we could then hang.  she did have a really good time and having the canvas to paint on was so much easier than trying to mess with paper, but it's not much of a masterpiece.  i brought her out some really cheap old paintbrushes that i had to play with as well and she was much more into using those than her fingers.  maybe we'll have to try all over with some watercolors. definitely a fun, outdoor activity on a friday afternoon.

...  i've been borderline obsessed with donuts lately.  i could seriously eat them once a week but i refuse to let myself get them more than once a month.  charlie and i picked up a dozen when my mom and sister were in town and i could have eaten about four right when we got them.  i blame this on discovering lamar's donuts.  when i was pregnant with avery all i wanted was dunkin donuts but there aren't any out here, so i just dreamt about them a lot.  but this time charlie found lamar's which has been amazing and awful at the same time.  i've also created a little donut monster in avery who is now very into donuts and even if she sees a picture of them will start asking for 'more'.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

grandma and alex came to visit!

have i mentioned how much i love my family and how i wish we were closer than a (very expensive) plane ride away?  probably only a few times on this blog.  anyway, my mom and sister came out to visit last week and we had such a good time hanging out with them.  avery's been asking for 'ma-ma' and 'ax' every since and that first day that they left was a little rough for both of us.  of course i took zero pictures with our 'good camera' but we did take a bunch of iphone pictures.  i love when people come out over the weekend because they i end up with three days off that we can do things.  

while we didn't really do anything huge while they were out here it was nice to have them around and i know that avery loved having them play with her.  




on friday afternoon after i finished work we went to the pool.  i actually love going at this time because it's right before the friday evening crowd comes and it get's really crazy but it also tires avery out before bed.  although she's playing with alex in all of these pictures she mostly wanted to just play by herself by climbing in and out of the pool countless times.  pretty boring if you ask me, but she was pretty impressed with herself. 

on saturday charlie and my mom took avery to her 'gymnastics' class.  this is probably one of my favorite times of the week because it's the one hour that i get to myself.  i wouldn't complain too much if they made the class more than 45 minutes long.  after we got back we all headed to the denver aquarium to take advantage of our season passes (we try to go once a month) and the guest passes that came with them.  




they had a petting zoo right outside the aquarium so avery and i went in there while charlie and alex watched some 4D movie.  the petting zoo was awesome and probably one of avery's favorite activities that she's ever done.  she's really into animals so it was really cute to hear her call them all by name.  they had goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, a horse, a calf, a pig, and ducks.  i think the pig and the goats were her favorite although she wanted to pet the chickens pretty badly but they weren't nearly as friendly as everyone else.  we stayed in for quite a while and she was pretty sad to leave once charlie and alex came back. 







on saturday night after avery went to bed we got some use out of our fire pit and made smores in the backyard.  we don't do this often although we really should take advantage in the warm weather a lot more than we do.  i love sitting outside and we had a really pretty sunset to watch.  




sunday we packed everyone, dogs included, into the jeep and headed to union reservoir.  we used to come all the time with the dogs but lately it's been less and less.  they both had a great time swimming, dunkin especially, and avery wasn't thrilled about the water but had a great time playing in the sand. 




on monday we hung around the house.  my mom put the first 5 coats of paint on our nightstands that i've been talking about repainting for the past 5 years, which was amazing.  i was able to finish them on tuesday night and now we no longer have bright blue nightstands in our room.  thanks mom!  i'm always sad to see them go, especially because the next time that i see them won't be until this baby is born, which seems so close and so far at the same time.  it was really nice to have them visit in the summer.  they usually come for christmas, which is really nice but it's so much nicer to be able to do things outside instead of being limited to indoor activities or short walks like we are in the winter.

Friday, July 19, 2013

lately ...


...  i am loving summer.  i can't get enough of being outside, wearing dresses, avery running around in a diaper, the pool, and open windows.  we've had a beautiful summer so far unlike last year's which was really, really hot.  and i am so not ready for cold weather.  the summers in colorado make the winter's worthwhile, but i'm not ready to give up snacks on the front porch, playing in the grass, and hanging out on the deck for a while yet.  

fake yawn. 

...  we had a successful anatomy scan for this baby.  we didn't find out the sex, although it was harder for me this time for some reason.  with avery i absolutely did not want to find out and charlie did.  since we didn't find out i told him that he could chose what he wanted to do with this baby and he surprised me by not wanting to find out.  i do have a strong feeling that this baby's a boy.  with avery i had no feeling one way or the other and charlie was 100% certain that it was a girl.  we'll see if my intuition is right in a few months.  

...  i am really craving some bruchetta and chocolate cake.  hopefully we'll make both this weekend since my mom and sister is in town.  it's amazing how much easier it is to cook when there's people to watch avery and people to help cook.  

love summer evening and a little girl in pigtails.

...  i am on a mission to organize our house before this baby comes.  unfortunately we're at the stage right now where everything is just a hot mess.  i got a bunch of rubbermaid containers but i grossly underestimated the amount of stuff that we have and i need to go buy a few more.  i'm also trying to convince charlie to relocate his office down to the basement.  right now it's in our master retreat, but i would really like to have the floor with all the bedrooms as a quiet place for napping kiddos.  i think it would work out better for him to as he'll be far removed from baby cries and toddler screams.  



...  avery's love for the animals gets more intense every day, which is pretty cute.  i do think that ollie is still her favorite but sometimes she loves him too much and ends up with some battle wounds.  overall he's amazingly patient with her, but sometimes she gets really rough.  you would think she would have learned from the few times that he's scratched her but she hasn't, which means we have to watch her really closely with him.  they're still pretty cute together though and i think as she gets older and more gentle he'll love her even more. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

nursery #2

Nursery #2

i think one of my favorite parts about having a second baby is actually getting to do something what our third bedroom.  currently there's a ladder, a tv stand, and a closet full of things that we shoved in there when we first moved into the house and it drives me crazy every time i walk up the stairs.  henry does like to sleep in the room so i wouldn't say it's completely wasted space.  just like avery's room we're planning on doing this one on a budget and shopping around the house for things that we already have and can use.  the two things that we'll have to buy are a dresser and a crib, but everything else will be from the rest of the house.

the walls are a really light cream and we're not finding out the gender of this baby, either, so i want lots of color but nothing that screams 'boy' or 'girl'.  i also already have some aqua items that we'll be using, and i love the idea of mixing those with some yellow and orange.  i'm hoping that i can find some orange accents that are on the lighter side, more peach and coral than bright orange, but we'll see what i can find.

here's what i have in mind so far:

1.  baby mod modena crib -- i can't decide if i should get this in white or grey.  i have a feeling i'll chicken out and go with the white.  i originally wanted a different crib, but this one is almost $100 cheaper so it wins.  unless charlie wins the bed vs. crib debate or avery starts climbing out of her cir we'll be ordering this from walmart in the next few months.
2.  orange curtains -- i definitely want light orangish curtains for the room.  i have a feeling i'll be making these from fabric i have yet to find.
3.  colors and tissue poms -- the previous owners of this room left lots of hooks in the ceiling and we didn't remove them and paint the ceiling.  i'm thinking of making some of these to cover up and use those hooks.
4.  a DIY mobile -- i've seen these circle mobiles everywhere.  they look cheap and easy.  also see above about needing to use some of those hooks.
5.  ikea hemnes dresser -- we already have 2 of these dressers and i'm thinking the smaller version would work great as a changing table/dresser combo.
6.  ottoman/pouf -- this is currently in avery's room and we use it as an ottoman with the rocking chair.  i'm hoping she won't mind donating both to the nursery when the baby finally arrives.
7.  animal art -- i made a moose picture for avery's room when she was born and i'm hoping to do something similar in this room, too.

we'll see how it turns out.  these things never end up looking like i pictured in my head, but as long as we end up with a place for the baby's clothes and diapers we should be fine.  we're planning on keeping the baby with us for the first few months anyway since it was so much easier with middle of the night feedings.  although charlie did say that he wasn't looking forward to sharing a room with a baby again so we'll see how long we last before moving the kiddo into his or her own room.  who knows, maybe we'll get one that likes to sleep this time.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

things to do before baby.

avery's brother or sister is due at the end of november.  november 27th to be exact, which happens to be the day before thanksgiving.  someone actually said to me already, 'that's too bad, a thanksgiving baby'.  i really don't get what's too bad about that, but whatever.  anyway, there's a few things that i want to get done around the house before this baby comes.  some of this is in preparation for the baby, like turning an empty room into a nursery and other is just random stuff because i know it will be so much harder to get things done with two kids instead of one.  there's also a few things that i want to get.  nothing near the amount of stuff that we got before we had avery, but a few things here and there that i like to spread  out over several months to make things less painful.  so here's the current list.  i'd expect to add a few things over time and hopefully cross most of this stuff off, as well.

things to do.

1.  paint the nursery.  
we actually picked out a paint color for this room before we found out i was pregnant.  the previous color was a dark blue, which we hated and i just wanted something light and bright for the room whether it stayed a guest room or became a nursery.  charlie did all of the painting by himself, which was awesome for me.  :)
2.  sell avery's baby things that we know we won't use.  
so far i want to get rid of our old monitor, the travel swing, the baby bjorn, and some clothes.  i'm hoping to add to this when i finally pull out all the newborn stuff that's currently boxed up.   
3.  organize the closet in the nursery
this closet currently contains a bunch of bedding, bags, gift wrap, etc..  it's a mess.  i need to buy a ew rubbermaid containers for the extra bedding and then move that stuff to our storage area in the basement.  i want an empty closet that only has baby stuff!
4.  figure out the car situation.
done.  i blogged about this in our fourth of july post.  we traded in my car for an outback and then charlie and i switched cars.  i'm now reacquainting myself with stick and happy to have a car that can, just barely, fit a double stroller.  
5.  clean out the garage 
ugh.  this is such a mess.  we have a ton of crap on the sides of the garage.  we need to buy more hooks to hang things up with, reorganize the stuff we have, and get rid of the stuff that i know we don't need.  this isn't so bad that we can't fit the cars in the garage or anything, but we just need to organize a little better.  we've contemplated buying a shed, although i have a feeling we'll hold off on that for now. 
6.  paint our master bathroom
this is the last room in our house left to paint.  we're going to be painting it the same color as the nursery.  basically almost white.  and i made a deal with charlie that if he did the taping and the caulking then i would do the painting.  neither of us have worked up the motivation to get started but i really, really hope we do soon because i cannot stand the current color and ironically it's the only bathroom in the house that we use.  
7.  update our bedroom
nothing huge in here but i want to replace the art above our bed, get a new quilt that doesn't have nailpolish spilled all over it, and finally paint our nightstands because electric blue just isn't working for me.
8.  decorate the nursery.
well this is just fun.  i'm waiting to get started until after our 20 week ultrasound.  the only two big items that we have to buy are the crib and the dresser and everything else is just little stuff or will be stolen from avery's room.

things to get.

1.  either a crib for the baby or a bed for avery.
 i'm on team crib and charlie's currently on team bed.  she's sleeping really well at night right now and i just see no reason to mess with that especially because i can't see her climbing out of her crib for a long while, if ever, and her crib does convert to a toddler bed if we needed to do so.  in the long run we'll buy her a twin but i'd rather not mess with her sleep when i don't have to.  
2.  a dresser
we'll be getting the 3 drawer hemnes from ikea one of these days when i make the solo trip so i can fit it in the car.  
3.  newborn diapers
i love cloth diapers but didn't end up starting with avery until she was 3 months old because she was so tiny and i refused to buy newborn diapers.  i want to buy 2 dozen newborn GMD workhorse diapers.  i already have 6 thirsties duo size one covers that should work just fine with them.  i have a feeling this baby will be pretty small as well, which means we should be able to use the newborn size for a while. 
4.  double stroller
after almost no debate we bought the bob duallie.  we love our single bob and we had a ton of rei points to use so we took advantage of a bob sale they had in march.  
5.  monitor
this was a definite want not a need.  we got a video monitor that we can use for two kiddos at once.  i'll admit that this was more for avery's sake (now i can spy on her) than for the new baby.  
6.  fireplace for the basement
another want although i can argue that this is very practical.  our basement is freezing.  all the time.  and we now have the train table, a tv, a couch, and a few other toys for avery down there.  we talked last year about getting an electric fireplace to heat the space in the winter so that we can hang out down there.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

i think the ordinary is my favorite.






today was just a good day.  nothing special happened.  i worked.  charlie worked.  avery played and napped and read books and chased the cats around.  but sometimes it's the regular, routine days that i love the most.  avery and i played outside for a bit while charlie cooked dinner and i attempted to get some pictures of a toddler on the move.  we ate dinner together and then gave avery a bath and then read the some books before bed.  i love the days when charlie and i are both around.  it still get's a little crazy at times; being on a conference call with an awake toddler is no easy feat, but i still wouldn't trade it.  

this kid is full of personality lately.  she's funny, her vocabulary is exploding, which is so fun to watch, and she's overall a pretty happy kid.  i am loving that it's summer and we can get outside as much as possible.  and i'm also loving this time before the second baby comes where we know that we'll soon be a family of four, which is very exciting, but we're also just soaking up all of our time as a family of three.  lately, i feel like the days and the weeks are just flying by and i don't want to forget just how much i'm loving this time right now.    

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

fourth of july weekend.

charlie and i both had 4 days off for the fourth of july.  the original plan was to head back to telluride for the weekend, just like we did last year.  however, since we just got back from visiting family in maryland and neither of us had planned anything.  so instead we ended up with a relaxing four days around home.  although i really do love telluride, it was nice to have a slightly cheaper break and since we both know that we have a vacation planned in september we don't feel like we missed an opportunity to go somewhere this year.  





on the fourth we met some friends at chatsfield reservoir.  they have a boat and invited us to tag along while they wake boarded and tubed.  the also invited the dogs, but both charlie and i felt like it wasn't fair for us to bring two huge dogs on someone else's boat.  and since we had a feeling that henry would handle the boat the same way he did the canoe we just brought dunkin along.  dunkin loved the boat and did great.  when he wasn't enjoying the breeze, he was sleeping.  avery had a pretty good time.  she wasn't a huge fan of having to wear a lifejacket, but fell asleep almost immediately.  we had planned to watch some fireworks either on our front porch or somewhere else in our neighborhood that night but both avery and i crashed pretty early so charlie took the dogs to watch the show.  

on friday we ended up buying a car.  we've been looking for a while.  with the combination of a second baby due later this year and charlie's car getting a bunch of miles on it from all the driving that he does for work we figured the timing was good.  we ended up trading in my car, since it couldn't fit the double stroller and i had nightmares of being stuck at home with 2 kids when charlie was gone for work.  i'm taking the jeep since i won't put many miles on it and charlie got the new car.  we ended up with a subaru outback, which i guess makes us official coloradans.  





we took avery to the pool on saturday and then hung around home for the rest of the day.  and on sunday we hung out in boulder, let avery play at the splash pad on pearl street, which she was not a fan of.  and then ate at pasta jays and walked around the neighborhoods while she napped.

it was such a nice break.  since my favorite thing to do is to hang out with charlie and avery i was pretty happy all weekend long.   

Sunday, July 7, 2013

a few of my favorites.

i have been terrible about taking pictures with our 'good' camera lately.  but i've been trying to remember lately because the camera really does take so much better pictures.  

we bought a year pass to the aquarium a few months ago and have been trying to go once a month since then.  these were a few pictures from our june trip that we managed to squeeze in just in time.  


the otters are a favorite and we always spend a lot of time watching them do flips.



in the tunnel watching the 'mermaids'.

we've been spending a lot of time outside lately.  i love summer because our house feels about a thousand times bigger since we hang out on the deck, on the porch, in the yard and going outside always makes avery happy.  we eat all of our snacks outside and she frequently asks to go out to just walk in the grass or play with her water table.  

'bo bo' is like a little tiger outside.  avery's always amused watching him sprint around like a crazy cat although fortunately she hasn't witnessed any of his rabbit kills yet as i'm not quite sure she'd really understand that.  

that belly!


henry is always funny.  even when he knocks her over.  

sigh.  she's getting so old.  might have to frame this one.