28 May 2009

Oh Wait, I'm Supposed to Decide on a Paint Color Before I Start Painting?


(seafoam on the left wall, better options on the right)

Chris and I found and signed the contract on our home within 36 hours of seeing it last April. We closed in June and moved in at the end of July. Back in April, in an attempt to keep my very-pregnant-and-eager-to-settle-in-my-new-place-but-obviously-not-able-to-do-any-settling-until-July self occupied, I rounded up a huge pile of paint swatches from Lowes and set about sorting through them. I found the perfect shade for the living room area, exactly what I had pictured in my head, a cool gray sage color. Perfect.

All of that to say that the color that went up on Monday had been premeditated for over a year, set aside in a place of importance, hailed the color. Which doesn't explain why I spent much of Monday evening standing in front of the painted walls, with my arms folded, trying to push out of my head what I was pretty sure of. I hated it.

I tried to ask Chris what he thought, knowing that he tends to not really care about this sort of thing. He doesn't even glance at the paint that I buy until it's being applied, and has tried to talk me out of a few painting projects that he ended up liking. Maybe my voice was just a little too high when I asked, trying to not give any indication of what I thought. His reply, "It's nice." was also too high, and a few minutes later we both admitted to hating it.

My cool gray sage green, when applied to the walls, turned out to be a country cottage green. I imagine it would pair perfectly with a peachy pink trim and dusty blue stenciled ducks. As soon as I admitted this I couldn't get that image out of my head. A friend stopped by and confirmed my fears, "Yes, it's sort of a seafoam green."

Perfect. I'm not a seafoam green person, and neither is Chris, and neither is any of our stuff. We have an open floor plan and basically every room is off of our living room area, so whatever this color is, there is pretty much going to be no escaping it. We spent the evening discussing the various ocean side scenes that we can have painted in The Wall Recess Without A Purpose, that will be complemented by a seafoam surrounding.

Well, the story does have a good ending, which I will attempt to wrap up quickly since I've been droning on and on. We had to hire a painter for this room because the walls are so high and the room so big, that it would take absolutely forever to do ourselves. Lucky for us, our Sherwin Williams didn't have enough paint for the whole project, so our painter only had a gallon of the seafoam green to start with. When I told him that we were unsure about the color he brought in his swatches, I picked out a few more options, and ended up finding something that worked perfectly.

It turns out that he had a few other things to work on while I painted the new color options on the wall to compare, so we weren't holding him up by changing our minds. I turned on the Cubs game, which he seemed grateful for, and I think he forgave me for my crazy indecisiveness. And last night Chris and I agreed that the new color was in fact, perfect.

Farm Fun

We spent Memorial Day weekend at Chris' family's farm, and it was the first time Jayce has been there and old enough to enjoy some of the fun things it has to offer. It was a great weekend: a perfect combination of doing farm things, visiting with family and farm family, and relaxing. I think the pictures can narrate our activities enough for themselves. The only thing missing was a trip to the lake and some skiing. There is always 4th of July weekend...
We also celebrated Jayce's birthday with Chris' family. Jayce has become a master of destroying his cakes quickly and efficiently, sneaking in a bite or two, and applauding his efforts. It was hilarious.

25 May 2009

Little Birthday Party

Since Jayce's birthday fell on a weekday this year and Chris had to work, I thought he might like to have some of his little friends over to play. I invited several of my friends and their kids over that morning for a birthday play date. We ended up with 17 people: 7 moms, 4 three year olds, 5 one year olds and 1 almost one year old. It was a bit of chaos, but fun chaos! Most of the kids (and moms) knew each other already from school, church, the library, etc, and it was fun to see the little ones all in different stages of crawling, walking, eating and playing.
I pulled out all of Jayce's toys and the kids spread around the downstairs and played, while the moms sat around and caught up a bit. (And yes, maybe I had a little bit of an ulterior motive to get together with my friends too.)
We had a simple 1-3 year old friendly menu: strawberries, oranges, graham crackers, apples, carrots, and of course, cupcakes. I hadn't planned to decorate since it wasn't really a formal "party" or anything, but as I was setting things out I remembered that I still had some bits from Jayce's party with my family that we hadn't used, so I set those out as well. Chelsea and I had punched out all of these little stars, 1's, and balloons for confetti, so I was glad that I finally got to use them.

I meant to get a few more pictures but as you might imagine we were all pretty busy chatting and keeping an eye on the activity! Jayce seemed to have a great time. He was a little bewildered at first when everyone showed up, but quickly became really excited and joined in all of the activity.

Thanks everyone for coming over! We had a great time, and I hope that your kids slept as well afterwards as the very tired birthday boy!!

21 May 2009

Before

My sweet boy, I can hardly believe that you've been in our lives for a year now.

It seems like just yesterday we were in the hospital with your tiny perfect self. 8lb 1oz, 20 1/2 in long, perfect round face, cone head that first day, smooth dark head of hair and sleeping soundly.
You have always been a good sleeper. At the hospital the nurses would bring you into the room and tell us how all of the babies in the nursery were crying except you, who slept soundly through it all. We were a little nervous about getting you on a schedule those first few weeks, but you fell into the rhythm beautifully and happily.
For your first 12 weeks your schedule was one of the only constant things in your life as we travelled to Ohio, Florida, Tennessee, Illinois and back to Kentucky. You happily endured eleven 5+ hour car trips as we visited family, vacationed, and moved to our new home. If I haven't said it already, thank you for being such a happy traveler and making those long trips a little easier on your poor parents!

For the past 12 months, everywhere that we go people comment on your happy disposition, your beautiful blue eyes, and your sweet smile. Even at unlikely times, such as after flights (4 times!), at doctor's for sick visits, long trips in the car, nothing breaks your sweet spirit!

I remember before we had you in our lives, before we realized that the seemingly ordinary was actually spectacular. On the day that you first laughed, I laughed too, and cried. The sound was so sweet and amazing. We called our families, played them the video over the phone, and gushed over it. The video has been watched on You Tube 181 times as of today, I think some of your extended family must have liked it as well.

Thank you for teaching us that sometimes the commonplace is extraordinary.

I have a feeling that you have a lot more to teach us, and we have a lot more to learn. Please cut us some slack as your poor parents. I must admit, I feel like you have already broken us. We've become hopelessly sentimental, easily swayed by your charm, instantly perked up by your huge grin. If we're bursting with pride over your present accomplishments, such as rolling, crawling, walking, what will we do as they (and you) get bigger?

I promise you that we'll continue to try our best, and help you however we can on this journey together. We love you. Happy Birthday.

18 May 2009

When You Have a Kid, You Can Do This...

Jayce and I flew to Akron last Saturday to visit with family. We had a great time with them, hung out with Jayce's cousins and brought home a ton of their old toys, got some 1 year pictures taken, planned for and held a 1st birthday party, and overall just played a ton with Grandma and Aunt Chelsea.

I love watching Jayce play with other people because it reminds me of just how fun he is. When you have a kid, you can...

See what grandma will do to make the baby smile,
Make him pose for photo ops that only you find amusing,
See how many kids we can pile on Aunt Barbara's lap
Laugh as he tries unsuccessfully to do "fish lips,"

Make him ghetto...
Put him in everything,
Pose two boys that are equally unhappy about birthday hats.
Mom and Chelsea, we had a great time with you guys!! Can't wait to do it again soon!

15 May 2009

1st Birthday Party

We had a party with my family for Jayce's 1st birthday last weekend and it turned out great! It was so nice to visit with everyone, most of whom we hadn't seen since around Thanksgiving, and celebrate with them.
The only hiccup for the day was that I had tried to put Jayce down for a slightly early nap before the party and he wasn't at all interested, so when the party started Jayce was about 30 minutes overdue for a nap. I'm sure I've said this before, but my baby loves his naps and still takes 2-3 a day, so when nap time arrives he is typically one tired kid. Luckily, even without any rest, he was still a trooper, smiling, charming and visiting with everyone. He was just a lot more mellow than usual.
As you'd expect from a birthday party, he got lots of really fun things, many of which I will be attempting to convince him are just as exciting without the sounds. He had a ton of fun playing with his cousins and on their swing set, and his variety of toys.
But of course the highlight of any 1st birthday party is the birthday boy diving into the cake. I thought this deserved it's own post, but here is a small preview.
Also our lovely decorations, with the help of my sister. The theme (you're supposed to have one of those, right?), was obviously "1" and "blue/stars," and we were pretty happy with it.

It was a really fun time and the birthday boy fell asleep as soon as we buckled him into his car seat to go home, 3 1/2 hours past nap time!

13 May 2009

Cookie Fiasco

I decided that for the first birthday of my first baby that I would attempt to be a bit domestic. Since we were having a big family party I thought that making "the cake" would be too much pressure, plus I was sharing the kitchen with mom and we were bringing several dishes to the party. So I enlisted the help of my sister and together we dove into a sugar cookie project.

One of my friends makes amazing sugar cookies for many occasions, and they are always delicious and adorable, and I was inspired by her ambition. Chelsea and I set out to make personalized, decorated, adorable little sugar cookies.
I will spare you all of the gory details, but it took lots of experimenting to get things the way that we wanted them. It took forever to cut out little stars, it was not easy to maintain their shape when we transferred to the pan, our too-thick dough made the "stars" balloon into "clouds" when baked, etc. But four hours later we were finished, with about four dozen cookies, and we were feeling a little proud of ourselves.

The next day at the party when I went to set out the cookies, I discovered that I will not buy the same icing again for any more cookies (the whipped kind, in case you are curious), because it didn't harden well. And sadly, ever so sadly, most of the carefully applied decorations were stuck to the bottom of the wax paper, and peeled off. So we had half smiley faces, half "1"s, and sometimes entirely peeled off patterns. I sighed and set them out anyway.
Everyone still loved them, and they were still delicious. Even with the decorations partially removed people still commented on how cute they were. We still ate them, and obviously the birthday boy was completely oblivious. I decided that a good mom doesn't need to produce a party that's practically perfect in every way. It was Jayce's first birthday party, and it was my first birthday party as a mom. I think the cookies were a darn good effort, and that counts for something.

Additionally, it is probably completely ridiculous that I have gone on for several paragraphs about these dumb cookies, but since I spent more time on them than all other preparatory aspects of the party, and needed to vent and brag a bit, I find it perfectly justified.

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