Jul 27, 2012

Black-Out Curtains & Pelmet Box

In my 4th of July post I mentioned making black-out curtains for London’s room. After having these babies up for a few weeks, Cameron and I are wishing I had made them sooner. And blackout curtains will be my first project for London’s new room, which I just ordered the fabric for. I am quite excited about.

Here’s why we set to making these curtains. London’s room gets the morning sun directly. In the summer months, this means she gets up early, even on weekends, because it is so light in her room and also because it can get pretty warm in there quickly. But the evening light was also disturbing her sleep. We found we had to move her bedtime back farther and farther, but soon she wasn’t getting enough sleep except during her weekend afternoon naps – which is when her room was at its darkest until the sun was actually down. This meant for a cranky girl each morning and evening during the week and all day on weekends sometimes.

Our solution? Make some blackout curtains for her window and a draft catcher for outside her bedroom door. I’d also seen a tutorial online on how to make Pelmet boxes from foam core board, and wanted to attempt it to add a little décor element to the room, to tie in the curtains more and after some thought as to the design, these would also work to combat light coming out the top of the blinds, bouncing off the ceiling and lighting the room any way. You can find that tutorial here.
After briefly looking at the tutorial, I came up with this design for the pelmet box:
I ended up using duct tape to secure the pieces together, which was only the main and the two sides as I accidently bought foam core science project presentation boards with built-in side panels rather than the single, flat foam core boards. While these boards are more expensive, in a way it worked out for the best and it only took one project board to make the pelmet box versus several pieces of single foam core boards and I had less seams to secure.

Wherever there was a 90-degree angle I used a piece of a ½” square wood dowel (usually not longer than 2 inches) to secure the 90-degree angle. I used my good ol’ hot glue gun to secure the wood dowels to the board.

I also used it to secure batting to the outside of the box. When it came to covering and securing fabric to the box, Isimply used a stapler.

Here are the few things I would have done differently (And will be doing next time):
  • Extend the pelmet box 6 inches wider than the actual window to make room for the curtains to part (I only did 4 inches this time)
  • Make the box deeper than 4 inches, again aiming for 6.
  • Have the fabric wrap around all the way to the back of the front panel so you don’t see foam core when looking up from directly below the window
  • Add a decorative trim to the top and bottom to add a finishing touch
All in all, it was a pretty easy project to make once I had all the materials and a clear kitchen island to lay it all out on. The island has become my new craft station – I can get crafts done while still keeping an eye on London so Cameron can work on other things.

The curtains were quite easy. I picked out a different fabric for the back, front and the trim. The trim fabric was also used on the pelmet box. First, I sandwiched a piece of canvas leftover from our wedding in between the front and back. Then I used the edge fabric to line the inside edge of each curtain and the bottom edge. I also used the edge fabric and the backside fabric to make some tiebacks for the curtains for when I want them open as I only folded the top down 3 inches to create a hole for the curtain rod to go through and didn’t secure any pull rod to make opening the curtains easy. They are pretty heavy so they don’t move along the curtain rod all that easily. I’ll probably add some kind of pull rod once I come up with one.

Sorry for the lack of how-to pictures – when I get head down in a project, I don’t think about things like that. I'll try to take some when I do the curtains and pelmet box for London’s new room.

But, ever since we got these curtains up, London has been going to bed at a decent time and getting good rest. She’s even sleeping in on the weekends. One Sunday recently we made it to 9 AM! She’s even asked to go “nite nite” a few times versus us asking/making her go down. And, her room is cooler in the mornings.

These curtains have had enough of an impact that once we complete everything for London’s new room, I’ll be looking at making some for the window that sits above the landing of our stairs. It lets in the sun from the west and can really heat the house up during the long summer days.

Oh yeah, I mentioned the draft catcher as well. It works great to block the evening sun from streaming in under London's door. I made it a little too long so I will be re-doing it when I make another to cover both girls' doors, but here it is for now:

When we get done with blackout curtains and draft catchers, I might actually be running low on the canvas left over from our wedding - and I still want to make some grocery totes for ourselves!

~ Sarah

Jul 26, 2012

Office Remodel Update

Before the Insulation
While the office is still not complete, it’s almost there. My last update mentioned that Cameron had completed the foam insulation to help with noise. By the end of Father’s Day weekend he had finished putting up all the dry wall (minus the taping and spackling) and the Monday after Father’s Day we had the carpet installed! It was so nice to have the old, smelly carpet removed. Unfortunately, Melody had left her mark on it and while we cleaned each spot and steam vac’d the whole room several times, the damage had been done. And my super sensitive pregnant nose hated it by this time.

After Insulation. This took several cans and hours.
Plus, when we had the carpet installed, we also had a patch of carpet repaired in the family room. Jake had thrown up right where the carpet and the tile meet between the family room and kitchen and I didn’t get to it in time before Tulley discovered it and ate it, and the carpet with it, exposing those pain-inducing tack-strip nails. This happened when Tulley was a puppy and London wasn’t even born. We had a small area rug placed over the spot to try and save some pain, but I think Cameron, London and myself all found ways to find a nail with one of our feet here and there. The darn rug just wouldn’t stay put – London moving it or rolling it up didn’t help. And while we used a patch from the office carpet to try and match the sun bleaching that has occurred in 3 short years, it is still somewhat visible. But it does not bother me like the moving rug did. And Jake is doing his best to add some wear and tear to it by sleeping specifically on the patch! It’s right in the main walkway from the family room to the kitchen so it will blend soon enough. And we steam vac’d the family room recently which helped a lot.

Ok, back to the Office remodel. After the carpet was put in, I slowly got to work covering the nice new carpet with plastic paint drop cloths, taping them down, to protect it so Cameron could get the taping and spackling completed, which he has done. He’s even completed rounding the one corner in the room that required it. Of course, this is only for the inside of the office. The outside still has a ways to go.

Goodbye nasty carpet!

Goodbye Puppy Damage!
We also finally found a color to paint the rest of our house as we want the office to be the same color. Once Cameron gets the texture done inside we’ll go purchase some paint. My goal is to have the room complete by the end of the month, preferably with Cameron’s old office moved in. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to happen, given there is only one weekendsleft in the month that has us scheduled to be in Reno on Saturday and we are just too tired during the week. I wish I could help Cameron more but those darn fumes I would be exposed to. Only time will tell. I’m just antsy to get things done for London in the new room so we can move her, get her settled in there and then focus on getting things ready for Sydney. It’s not as much as I needed to get done for London, but there are still things to do and with my energy levels dipping lower and lower its going to take some time.

Hello patch

And new carpet! It smells sooo  much better
And who knows when the outside of the office will be done – probably not until Sydney is here and I have some energy.

All taped and spackled - on to sanding!

Cameron went through a giant bucket of puddy

And he only got halfway done with the spackling on the outside
~ Sarah

Weekend Update: A Summer Storm

Not much to report from this week. Cameron continued to slowly move forward on completing the inside of the new office, though I am not sure he is going to meet my end of July deadline. And who knows when the outside will be complete. Stay tuned for a fill office remodel update as I know it has been a long time coming.

Other than that, I worked on picking up the house, which is quite normal these days as I don’t have any energy throughout the week to do so, along with Laundry. I did tackle one craft project and started another. I finally managed to get things together and pull together a Disneyland Memory Box commemorating London’s first trip and set of ears. What do you think?

I also started another memory frame commemorating our trip to Cancun last year, which I finished last night. Now I feel like I can focus on Sydney’s stocking and London's new room.

That’s about it. We did run a few errands on Saturday & Sunday, partially thanks to London’s nighttime shenanigans mentioned in my Toddler Tuesday post this week as well as looking for a mantel clock to put under our TV in the family room. And we did find one, online, after we went to two stores. Once it arrives, I’ll take a picture and explain why it was needed.

Sunday night (more like the wee hours of Monday morning) we did have some excitement. Some monsoonal moisture blew in, starting around midnight which had us waking up to Thunder and Lightning. Given we have a dry, primed for combustion, field behind our house, Cameron and I didn’t sleep well, anticipating the need to jump out of bed and evacuate at any moment should the lightning spark a fire. We even slept with the blinds open because of the storm which just added to keeping us up as we could see the lightning through our closed eyelids.  

Luckily, no fire was sparked. Enough moisture came with this unforeseen storm (not one local weatherman saw it coming!) to keep the strikes from sparking too much. I heard of one fire that it sparked Monday morning on my way to work, which didn’t become anything and it was plenty far away from us.

Cameron and I weren’t the only ones kept up by the storm. Tulley was on look out at the end of the bed, staring out the window. And while I never heard London, she was pretty cranky and sleepy Monday morning as well. Next time I’ll get the baby monitor and turn it on to see how affected she is by a storm – it’s not like I get much sleep any way.

The storm also brought some strong winds, albeit brief, which resulted in London’s outdoor toys being scattered across the backyard. Luckily, when I did inventory Monday morning, all were there. And because of the storm, I went to bed with London Monday night at 7:30 PM! Tulley was right beside me. Unfortunately, Cameron has been swamped with work this week and going through one of his insomnia phases, so he just got a 45 minute nap before he went back to work. He didn’t make it back until midnight that night. Hopefully he catches up on some sleep soon, though I’m not sure when that will be.

Hope you all have a wonderful & restful rest of the week and weekend ahead of yourselves.

~ Sarah

Jul 25, 2012

Baby Bump Wednesdays: 26 Weeks

How far along: 26 weeks

What Fruit or Vegetable size is Baby: English Hothouse Cucumber/Lettuce
Average Size: 13.6 to 14.8 inches, 1.5 to 2.5 lbs
What’s going on with Baby’s development: Sydney’s ears’ nerve network is better developed so not only can she hear me, but she can probably hear her daddy and sister. Sydney also has eyelashes and her eyes are forming and will soon start to open.
Total weight gain: 20 lbs.
Stretch marks: Trying to be diligent with the oil to avoid any more than the ones I got from London, but when its bed time, all I want to do is fall into bed. Also, switched from Bio Oil to Palmer’s Skin Therapy oil, only because that was what the store had when I actually remembered I needed more. Darn pregnancy brain. I have to say it is working from what I can tell, though I like the smell of the bio oil much better.
Sleep: Considering I slept from 7:30 PM to 6 AM Monday to Tuesday, only waking up to Cameron coming to bed at midnight, that’s not bad. Still have pain in my hips here and there but it’s not consistent, yet.
Best moment of this last week: Completing London’s Disneyland “First Ears” frame
Miss anything: Wine, Corona, running, spicy tuna rolls, being able to put shoes on without hurting my belly
Movement: Healthy. She still prefers to move so I have pressure on one side more than kicking like London did. And she still leaves me alone when I am falling asleep.
Food cravings: Sautéed Mushrooms
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: Nope.
Belly button in or out: out
Wedding rings on or off: Off
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy and anxious
Looking forward to in the next week: Starting Sydney’s stocking!

It seems this pregnancy is flying by. I have my next doctor’s appointment next week on our anniversary, at which time I start going every two weeks until week 36. I also have my blood glucose screening test next week, which means I get to spend two hours of my life at Quest, drink some yucky sugary drink and get pricked 3 times! With London I only had to do the 1 hour test but apparently the 2 hour is more conclusive which prevents more of the 3 hour tests.

We are also under 100 days until Sydney arrives. The office is still not finished so I can’t begin to start on London’s and after we get London in her new room I’ll need to focus on getting things ready for Sydney. I know there are still two full months to go, but I also know my energy levels are going to begin dropping again. The good news is my mom and possibly my dad for a few days will be out in September to help me with London while Cameron is in Canada for a hunting trip. I’ve already warned her that she may be tasked with a few loads of laundry to get ready for Sydney.

My goal had been to have Cameron out of London’s room by the end of July. Not sure that is going to happen as we only have week left in the month, he’s swamped with work and has a trip to Reno planned this weekend, and has sanding, texturing, painting and floor boards, and possibly crown molding still to do. I’d love to have London in her new room at the start of September so she can be well adjusted to her new room before Sydney arrives. Time will tell.

~ Sarah

Jul 24, 2012

Toddler Tuesdays: The Power of Onsies

Last week we had a few rough mornings, the kind that have you running late and actually had me getting up earlier than normal to counteract the shenanigans London was up to that was the cause of these late mornings. No small feat for me these days, given sleep is pretty difficult and as interrupted as it is.

London’s shenanigans? The little stinker has been taking her pants and night-time diaper off sometime in the night and waking up in puddles, tacking on an extra 10 minutes to our already tight morning routine.
 In the last month we probably had 1 of these days every week or two. But last week we jumped to 3! By Friday, we were trying to come up with ways to combat this behavior. A friend suggested duct tape as this worked for a friend of hers, but Cameron and I worried about what could happen, coming up with what are probably crazy, irrational consequences and decided against it.

In a brief call with my dad, he jokingly suggested a jumpsuit. But that was enough to get the wheels turning. Cameron and I both thought of footed pajamas.

The biggest problem we could find with footed pajamas was that most are made from Fleece. And London is like us, she doesn’t like to be hot. At Daycare they keep mentioning that she takes her shoes off. What can I say? At home we are barefoot and out and about we prefer flip flops and sandals to closed-toed shoes. Even my work shoes tend to be peep-toed - and are only on when I am walking around. The Daycare doesn’t allow open-toed sandals, we have learned, so London only has sneakers to wear at school and I know this is part if the reason she gets hot and thus takes her shoes and socks off. Maybe next year I will look at some crocks for her, but for now she is stuck with sneakers.

The other problem we could see with footed PJs? The thin, cotton footed PJs could still be a bit warm for our little girl. It has been averaging around 105 degrees this last week and the evenings aren’t much cooler. London’s room gets the morning sun directly, and while her new blackout curtains have cut down on how warm it gets, the vent in her room has never worked great so it’s hard to cool that room off with the AC.

Our only viable solution, or so we thought? Find some cheap, footed PJs made of thin cotton, and cut the feet off and shorten the sleeves to be short. That way, it would be like she is wearing her short sleeved PJ tops and PJ bottoms. And we would be good until she either learned to use zippers successfully or until we could switch to the fleece PJs for winter.

Saturday, we headed out in search of such footed PJs. Instead, we found 24-month-sized onsies. Believe it or not, while London normally wears between 2T and 3T, she can still fit in these onsies, quite comfortably, since there are no legs. And with the buttons the way they are, London can’t get out of them! Plus we got 5 for $14! Plenty to get us through to the coming cooler months. We’ll even be able to use the pants from her old PJs this fall over the onsies. The pants can provide the warmth she may need but the onsies will protect her from getting her diaper off.

And, with three nights under our belts since implementing the onsies, London hasn’t woken up in a puddle and I haven’t had extra laundry on my hands. Last week, I did 3 loads for her alone – usually I just have one load on the weekend!

One other thing we have done to help was eliminate London's glass of milk before bed. We implemented this last Thursday so Thursday and Friday were rough getting London to go down but now she is content without it as long as she gets to rock with her daddy before bed.

~ Sarah

Jul 20, 2012

Weekend Update and The 4th of July

We slipped in a little walk on the 4th as well. London decided she wanted ride her new trike!
We had a quiet weekend planned at home the weekend before the 4th of July. Cameron did some work on the office remodel, which I will go into more detail later, while London played and I worked on finishing her Stocking and creating some black-out curtains for her/soon-to-be Sydney’s room. I ended up completing both on the 4th.

We tried to host a BBQ for the 4th but it seems all our friends had the same idea of staying close to home, which didn’t bother us at all. We had some fireworks left over from last year that we planned to light that evening in the street out front versus battling the crowds to take in our city’s professional display.

It all worked out well. We barbequed and Lynde joined us. When it came time to do fireworks, we discovered many of our neighbors were out front getting set up for fireworks as well, so we walked a few doors down to join the crowd and we all pulled our fireworks together for a long display. I think we had at least 5 houses from our street represented by the number of neighbors and their friends lined up along the sidewalks. Most of the men handled the entertainment. And we all just sat and chatted while we watched the colors and flames, making fun of the short, sad displays and saying our ooohs and aaahhs for the good ones. At one point, a ladder did catch fire, but nothing we weren’t prepared for. We joked that our neighbor should save the ladder for next year for the sole purpose of helping us display our fireworks again!

Unfortunately, London didn’t do so well with the fireworks this year. The first one she saw and heard pretty much scared her stiff – she didn’t know which way or who to run too until she found me. Cameron and I both tried to calm her down but it was useless. She was exhausted from the day, not taking a long nap like we had hoped. I put her to bed after the first few fireworks. Luckily for me, her baby monitor reached Lauren and Woodrow’s driveway where some of us were gathered, so I was able to watch the fun without worrying about London.

Tulley and her puppy Molly, on the other hand, did fantastic. Tulley wanted to be next to Cameron all night long as she kept thinking the fireworks were gunfire and she desperately wanted to be told to go get a bird! Molly was not fazed by the noise at all, just running around playing with Tulley and saying hello to everyone.

After all the fireworks had exploded, many of us stayed out front catching up more. It was a reminder to Cameron and me about how lucky we are to be on our street surrounded by such wonderful, friendly neighbors.

~ Sarah

Jul 19, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up: A Reunion Unlike Any Other

The weekend after Father’s Day found us back in Chico. And what a difference a week made. When we went up for my hair appointment Father’s Day weekend it was hovering around 105 degrees. That weekend? 75! It was a beautiful weekend to be in Chico. The reason for our visit was for Cameron’s fraternity’s reunion. And by the time the weekend rolled around every one who was attending was eagerly anticipating it while those that could not must have been thoroughly bummed. It wasn’t just our core group of friends meeting up in Chico. It was any one who had been in the fraternity since it started in Chico back in 1983!

Luckily, Vicki was able to watch London for us, so I could attend the festivities up in Chico with Cameron and act as a Designated Driver for him and for our friend Miller, whose wife was unable to attend.

We started our day in Chico at the brewery and before long Fraternity members and their significant others had filled up the entire bar section of the back porch – both sitting and standing room. We got to meet several members of the original pledge class as well as one of their fathers, a father who was responsible for getting the Chico chapter established – he was a member of the Fraternity through the ASU chapter! It was pretty awesome to learn some of the history and see what a bond all these people still had after all these years. We spent most of the afternoon on the back patio of Sierra Nevada before heading over to Joe’s.

Good old Joes. It’s been remodeled since Cameron and I were last there yet it hasn’t changed all that much. There’s still saw dust on the floor. Instead of peanuts, they serve chips and salsa and instead of one TV there are several. The only other noticeable difference was the hall to the back patio, the updated bathrooms and the front of the building being extended maybe 5 feet. Most of our core group of friends met at Joes to take care of some fantasy football business, which was settled in 10 minutes, tops. Then it was all about catching up and reminiscing; nothing unusual for us. And just after 5 we headed over to the Bear for the main festivities.

An older alum of the fraternity had rented out the top floor of the Bear for the actual reunion. The bar was open and the drinks began flowing. After grabbing a quick Bear burger downstairs, we headed up. Before the reunion was over, a group photo was taken. I’d say there were 40-50 fraternity members crowded on the dance floor for that moment where they lingered to celebrate their fraternity. In was quite a sight for all the wives and significant others watching from above on the steps.

And people still lingered after 9 PM, when upstairs was opened up to everyone. Of course, at that time the music was turned up even more and college-aged kids started to swarm. A group of us made it outside to the back patio to cool off. There, we took in the current college crowd. In some ways we felt really old and in other ways we were all glad we weren’t in that phase of our lives any more. The girls and I mainly wondered if we’d ever really cared what we looked like when we went to the bars nightly. Some of these girls were dressed to every last trendy detail. I used to go out in summer wearing tank tops, shorts, flip flops and my hair in two braids. These girls were sporting the current trend of ankle boots and messy up-dos. And some of them were not pulling it off at all!

At some point people were getting hungry again and we split into even smaller groups as we made our ways to different late night eateries. Cameron and I found ourselves at Woodstock’s Pizza. Someone had made the mistake of mentioning it earlier in the day and I could not get it out of my mind. It reminded me of when my roommate Heather and I would order a pizza for delivery on our way home from the bars. We always walked home from there and arrived just in time for our pizza to arrive nice and hot.

We made it back to Vicki’s by 1:30 PM. Cameron and I were joking that last call was going on back in town. But good thing we made it to bed by 2 AM. I think Cameron was up by 5 AM with the sun that came streaming in, right on his face. I was up by 7 AM as the room was heating up – it had been cool when we went to bed so we didn’t turn the fan on and Cameron had actually turned the heated mattress pad on. I was roasting by the time I woke up. And soon London would wake up too.

We made it home just in time for lunch and naps. Unfortunately, London had fallen asleep in the car so she took a short nap. I would get up with her and then go back down for a longer nap once Cameron woke up. To sum up Sunday, it was a lazy day of lounging or napping. I did somehow get 3 loads of laundry done and our room picked up, which was more than I expected to accomplish so I was pleased all the same.

It did remind me why as parents we don’t go to the bars and party very often. It was a lot easier to live that lifestyle when you could be lazy and sleep all day the day after! Still, it was fun to relive our younger days a little, even if I couldn’t partake in all the activities of the day.

~ Sarah

Jul 18, 2012

Baby Bump Wednesdays: Weeks 23, 24 & 25

Ok, here are the last 3 weeks of Baby Updates:

How far along: 23 weeks

What Fruit or Vegetable size is Baby: Large Mango
Average Size: 11 inches, 1 lb
What’s going on with Baby’s development: Sydney’s sense of movement is well developed and her hearing is increasing – time to get Tulley barking and vacuuming so these sounds don’t phase her when she arrives.
Total weight gain: 13 lbs.
Stretch marks: Loving the Bio Oil as still no new ones – we’ll see what happens in the last month
Sleep: Same old, same old.
Best moment of this last week: Having a fun night out with Cameron and friends when we attending the Lambda Chi Alpha reunion and London using the toilet at home for the first time!
Miss anything: Wine, Corona, running, spicy tuna rolls
Movement: Definitely feeling Sydney more. Last night while watching a movie I felt her shift to one side of the belly – a pretty funny sight to see.
Food cravings: Sushi, nectarines
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: Nope.
Belly button in or out: working on that outtie, or the 3rd nipple as Cameron calls it
Wedding rings on or off: engagement ring only and luckily, still!
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy most of the time
Looking forward to in the next week: A quiet weekend at home for the first time in ages!

How far along: 24 weeks
What Fruit or Vegetable size is Baby: Ear of Corn or Cantaloupe
Average Size: 10.5 – 11.8 inches, 12.7-20.8 oz
What’s going on with Baby’s development: Sydney’s body is filling out proportionally although she is pretty lean these days and her brain is quickly growing as her taste buds continue to develop. Her lungs are developing the branches of the respiratory tree.
Total weight gain: 20 lbs. The doctor says I have little hope of not gaining 40 lbs. just like I did with London. Guess I’ll just have to focus on losing it once Sydney is here.
Stretch marks: Bio Oil Baby!
Sleep: Difficult this week thanks to a summer cold or allergies. I’ve been laid out for two days now.
Best moment of this last week: Celebrating our country’s independence with our neighbors setting off fireworks. We had 5 or 6 houses represented.
Miss anything: Wine, Corona, running, spicy tuna rolls
Movement: Definitely feeling Sydney more. And Cameron got to feel her kick for the first time last week as well. This was the first time we tried to get him to feel a kick and Sydney obliged. London would always stop kicking whenever Cameron had his hand on my belly.
Food cravings: nectarines, jelly beans
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: Nope.
Belly button in or out: It’s all the way out now.
Wedding rings on or off: Sadly, my engagement ring came off just after the 4th of July. I’m not swelling like I did with London, but I swelled enough to leave ring indentations on my finger one day so as soon as the swelling went down, the ring came off. So sad!
Happy or moody most of the time: Moody – this cold isn’t helping
Looking forward to in the next week: Feeling better!

How far along: 25 weeks
What Fruit or Vegetable size is Baby: Rutabaga/Cauliflower
Average Size: 13 ½ to 14 ½ inches, 1 ½- 2 ½ lbs
What’s going on with Baby’s development: Sydney is starting to add some baby fat to her body and if we could see her hair we would know what color it was. Sydney also has a sense of equilibrium, knowing which way is up and which way is down – that may explain the drastic movements I feel when I switch positions quickly!
Total weight gain: 20 lbs.
Stretch marks: Bio oil – need to get some more too as I’m down to my last few drops just as I am feeling bigger and bigger every day. Time to stay diligent on it.
Sleep: Beginning to feel the searing or burning hip pain when I haven’t moved in a while.
Best moment of this last week: Watching London and Evan play at Evan’s 2nd Birthday party.
Miss anything: Wine, Corona, running, spicy tuna rolls, being able to put shoes on without hurting my belly
Movement: More and more. I think she was moving a lot the other night as I had dreams about it.
Food cravings: Junk food unfortunately. Luckily we made a rule last week that we wouldn’t eat out for the rest of the month – and that includes lunches.
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: Nope.
Belly button in or out: out
Wedding rings on or off: no more rings – oh how I miss them! And oh how I feel like an unwed hussy when I’m out by myself, which is rarely ever, thankfully.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy now that I am feeling better
Looking forward to in the next week: Starting Sydney’s stocking!

~ Sarah

Jul 17, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up: Father’s Day! And Wicked! And Office Remodel Update – Carpet!

Father's Day weekend was fairly mellow, even though we were hardly home. Saturday was spent in Chico so I could get my hair done.

Then we headed back down to Biggs for a visit with Vicki and Joe, as well as Dhawn and Amanda who had just arrived from Phoenix. We caught up over dinner and made it home just as it was getting dark and put London straight to bed.
That Sunday, of course, was Father’s Day. Cameron received his gift on Wednesday when it arrived – a Shutterfly photo book containing only images of Melody. We recently read an article that suggested creating a photo album of a pet after the loss of it, so I did. While it does make us sad to look through it, it also reminds me of how happy Melody appeared to be with us and confirms for me that we provided her with a good life. As odd as it sounds, we’ve been keeping the book in our bathroom and I think we both flip through it whenever we are in there.

London woke up pretty early on Father’s Day so I got up with her to let Cameron sleep in. Not that he slept in long, as he had some things he wanted to complete before it we dropped London off at Lauren’s for the afternoon. I also made him a Dutch Baby for breakfast as he had recently requested one. We slather ours with butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice. The lemon juice what had sparked Cameron's craving for it.

And the reason we needed to have London watched by Lauren that afternoon? We had tickets to the musical Wicked! The Thursday prior, one of my co-workers was walking around looking to unload 4 tickets as he and his family could no longer attend the performance. And he didn’t want anything for them! They were fantastic tickets – Row U in the Orchestra section, smack dab in the middle of the seating and priced at $83 each. Matt & Lynde were the lucky friends that spoke up first saying they could go when we started asking people to fill the last two tickets.

When we arrived at the theatre we learned that the show was ending that very day. It had only been performing in Sacramento since May 23. And it was fantastic, though the sound guy failed a few times here and there – they literally forgot to turn a mic on during a key line! The woman playing Elphaba also wasn’t as good as the one Cameron and I saw in London, but then again, the performer was the stand-by and not the usual performer. The biggest difference Cameron and I noticed was in the crowd. Apparently Sacramento is a bit rowdier than London, even San Francisco, clapping at the end of almost every song and erupting after a key scene at the end.

After the performance, the four of us grabbed some dinner in downtown before heading home. Of course, London had a grand time with Lauren and Woodrow. In the end, we had a fairly low key Father's Day weekend, which we were due for.

~ Sarah

Jul 16, 2012

Weekend Update: London’s 2nd Birthday Party!

Ok, so I am waaay behind on my posts between Weekend Wrap-ups, the office remodel and Baby Bump Wednesdays, so I am going to try and do my best to get us caught up. Let's start with the weekend before London's birthday, June 2 - the weekend we held London's birthday party!

Of course, we didn't just celebrate London's birthday as the three of us at the aquarium. We did throw London quite the birthday bash the week before she turned two.
My dad had spent the majority of May up in Chico covering for a pediatrician friend and it made more sense to have my mom fly in, celebrate and have the two of them drive home just as my dad was finishing up work, versus having them stay an extra week so they could be here to celebrate or have them miss the party altogether (which would never fly!).
The party came just in time, too. We really needed something good to focus on with Melody and the daycare drama that happened the two days leading up to the event.
The theme was bubbles. London loves bubbles, though this love has waned recently. And, we got lucky that it wasn’t a scorcher of a day. It was warm, but a there was also a strong breeze coming through. This allowed most of the kids to be outside and made for some easy blowing of bubbles for the toddlers. All they had to do was pull the wand out of the solution and bunches of bubbles would go flying away.
Unfortunately, it was too windy for the giant bubbles I had planned on doing. I couldn’t get the yarn-covered hanger out of the bubble solution with the solution fully intact before the wind would pop it. Oh well. All the kids seemed to have a grand time.
In all, we had 37 people in attendance throughout the afternoon, but by 7 PM it was just my parents, Cameron, London and I. And London was definitely ready for bed early. The best surprise of the day was the arrival of Emily and little 2-month-old Elijah from San Francisco. I know it was a long drive for Emily, but it was so awesome to see her and meet Eli.
This year I focused only on the decorations, having fun decorating the family room and kitchen for the party. Here's what it looked like:

While the streamers have come down, the balls still hang in both the family room and kitchen. This is partly because we've been busy or I've been lazy and partly because, they don't look that bad.
For a long while the bubbles also drove Jake nuts, which is a form of entertainment for him, and us, right?

I’m also considering spray painting the balls in my holiday décor colors and hanging them in a similar fashion for the holidays. I’m sure Sydney will enjoy looking up at them!  Maybe I will even paint and hang a few over her crib as well.
London received many wonderful gifts – boy is she loved! Some of the highlights included a new table, just her size. It came in handy to seat the kids at for cupcake time.

Then there is her new tricycle that includes a handle that we can use to push London in for walks until she really can turn the pedals on her own.

Another favorite is her new baby doll and a stroller that London can push her in, as well as a singing cake with candles. She barely grasped the concept of blowing out the candles after we sang to her at the party, but by the next day, after playing with the cake for a good hour, the girl has it down!
And then there is the little piano. London goes over and plays it a couple times a week.

~ Sarah