Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finally, I can walk around naked

We got blinds y'all!  Remember our giant windows in the living room?
It made me so nervous that you could see everything from those windows.
So nervous that we got an alarm system in addition to our blinds.
This picture does no justice to how fabulous and wonderful and awesome and PERFECT these blinds are.  I'm in love with the blinds.
I get an obscene amount of satisfaction from opening and closing them.
They're two-inch thick wooden blinds and it's crazy how much 
they transform the look of the living room.

The blinds make it look like a home and when they were installed, I exhaled.  I was so anxious about the house not feeling like a home and I was paranoid that we were going to get robbed any day because you could see all of our stuff without even trying.  Once the blinds were up and the alarm system activated, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I felt like I could calm down.

However, you know when you get a new haircut and it makes you realize that your makeup sucks?  And you could probably use some new earrings?  And the sweater you're wearing is gross?  And when was the last time you bought some new jeans?

That's how I feel about the living room now.  Our awesome blinds have called attention to everything else that needs fixing.  Let's go back to the first picture of the blinds.

Except let's focus on the entryway.  I hung some of Drew's pictures that he got in India and I tried to take a picture of them because they're really gorgeous.  However, taking pictures of pictures without getting the glare from the glass is nearly impossible and it was starting to annoy me, so you'll have to take my word for it that these pictures are beautiful.

Which means that they need something equally awesome underneath and that drawer thing is not cutting it.  It's way too small and with the baseboard heat on half of that wall space, it can't sit flush against the wall.  That annoys the crap out of me because there's this stupid gap and it looks stupid.  Whatever I get will have to be mounted to the wall so it'll sit flush but I have no clue what that should be.  I was thinking about mounting a bookcase because I still have no books in the living room and it's killing me.  Then I could put a basket underneath the bookcase to put shoes and stuff and that way it would make more sense.  I think.  Do y'all have any thoughts?

Then there's the TV wall.

I need to do something to that wall to make it suck less.  I was thinking of putting frames across the top and sides so it's not just a dumb tv on a wall.
like this from here

But I'm not sure if that'll make the room too busy?  I just know it needs something.  And then I have the big ass wall.  I swear, these big ass walls are trying to end me.
See that sad lonely lamp in the middle of that big ass wall?  
I need to do something about that.
This afternoon, I got out my tape and tape measure to do what they call
'a little visualizing.'
With the help of my trusty assistants for scale, we got to work.

With the front door open, it takes away about a third of wall space.  Except you should have something behind the door when it's closed, right?  I don't know about these things.  I did know that I wanted floating shelves and I thought I wanted three, but when I put the tape up I realized that two is plenty.  I didn't want to make the bottom one too low because the dog bed has to live there and I don't want the dog to bonk her head, and I didn't want Sofia to be able to pull anything off the lowest shelf.  Two shelves it is!

Then I got on Ikea's website to check out their Lack shelves.  They only come in 43 or 74 inches, and of course I need like 52 inches.
That middle line is 43 inches and it's just too short.
Then I put up some 'pictures' to make sure that there would be enough breathing room.
The one on the bottom right is an 8x10, the bottom left is an 11x14,
and the top is a tape rendering of a big frame that we have.  I wanted to make sure 
something really big would fit up there.

Since Ikea doesn't have the length I need, I'm going to try my hand at building the shelves.  Oh yeah, you heard me.  Your girl is about to get handy!  Ana White says they're easy to do and I've got all the tools, so why not give it a shot?

Famous last words, right?
Plus, one of these days before I die, the computer built-in will be finished and we can get rid of the ghetto ass towels underneath the cabinet, and it'll actually look like a regular built-in and the wall will be covered and won't look so terrible.

But then I remember that we've only lived here for two and a half months and I need to cut myself some slack.  We've come a long way.
'Member when it looked like this?  You 'member? 'Member?
PS, that link cracks me up.  I have family members that talk like that
completely unironically.

Anyway, that's what's new around these parts.  And of course I'm trying to talk Drew into getting blinds for the whole house because they look so good.  We got 1-inch ones in our bedroom so of course we need them in the other bedrooms.  Everything has to match!  Right you guys?  

Tell him.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crash, but other good stuff too. Now, with more pictures!

Let's all cross our fingers that Sofia stays asleep for at least another hour, ok?

So, you guys.  I got into a car accident the Monday before Thanksgiving.  Can you believe that? Who gets into car accidents anymore?  Well, me, apparently.  I was alone, THANK GOD, and I was unhurt but my poor car got jacked up.  They won't be able to get everything fixed until the middle of December!  All that for a little left turn where I didn't have full visibility.
The airbags went off and everything!
It doesn't look like much, but that's 10 Grand of damage right there.
I'm still shaking my head.

My mom came to town to celebrate Thanksgiving with us, and of course she was all worried about me.  I was pretty shaken up, but after taking it easy for the day I was in better shape.  Although I still get flashbacks of the moment of impact and I get random chills down my spine when I think about what would have happened if Sofia had been in the car.  Actually, never mind, let's not talk about that anymore.

We had an amazing Thanksgiving spread thanks to my awesome husband.
Smoked turkey *and* ham, two kinds of stuffing, creamed corn, the most amazing mashed 
potatoes you've ever tasted in your whole life and two kinds of pie.
It was actually kind of silly to have all that food for three adults but we didn't care because
that ish was GOOD!

It was so nice to have my mom with us and Sofia really enjoyed her too.  She would knock on her door every morning saying 'Gamma!  Gamma!' I loved to see them interacting and I'm so thankful that my daughter has such a great relationship with her Gamma.
My mom is such a good sport for getting down and playing in the leaves with Sofia.
You good, Gamma?
Ok cool, let's get back to throwing leaves.
Throwing leaves is awesome!
It was such a pretty day and I'm so glad my mom was there to spend it with her.
Also, my kid is kinda cute.

Plus, my mom babysat for us while Drew and I went to the Temple-Syracuse game the day after Thanksgiving.  It was so much fun to have an adult day and thank goodness Syracuse won!
Final score - go 'Cuse!  
PS, I have no idea what that means.  But I'm a loyal fan and that's what
was on everybody's Syracuse shirts.
Syracuse's mascot is the Orange, so naturally this had to be the hand sign.
Drew didn't agree, but I think it's going to catch on.
No seriously, he doesn't agree.
After the game, we went to the bar to celebrate Syracuse's win.
It's always fun when strangers buy you shots, don't you agree?
I have no clue who any of those people were, but Drew had a Syracuse hat
so of course we were all friends.

It was nice to recharge as a couple and we've made the commitment to each other to go on more dates.  I have to admit that I've been the one dragging my feet because we don't know anybody here.  The thought of leaving my baby with a stranger makes me want to Nanny Cam the shit out of my house and I still probably wouldn't be able to leave her.  However, I'm going to bite the bullet and look into Sitter City.  Supposedly they do extensive background checks and each person is rigorously interviewed (so they say) so we'll see.  I just have so much paranoia about that sort of thing and I always think the worst.  My mom didn't pick up the phone on the first ring when I called to check in, and I immediately thought she was lying in a pool of blood and Sofia was next to her crying and there was no help coming and now I can't enjoy the game and we have to leave RIGHT NOW.  So...yeah...babysitters kind of scare me.

Also, my kid has awesome bedhead.

And, the baby is up so I have to run, but that's what's been going on with me.  How about you?

*Also, thank you all for the kind words on my last post.  We are officially on the baby train and you'll get updates as soon as there's something to talk about!  Thank you for your support!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Little Soul

The house is quiet, the baby is finally asleep and I'm in the kitchen with my computer.  I made cupcakes for Sofia's school and I'm debating how bad it'll really be if I sample just one.  But I won't, because who am I kidding, I won't be able to stop at just one and then I'll be the lame mom who didn't bring treats on treats day.

Instead I'll finally try to make sense of the thoughts swirling in my head and do my best to talk myself off the ledge.


For some time now I've had this feeling.  A sense, a notion, an inkling.  At first I couldn't put my finger on it, but once I could, I tried to ignore it.  God knows I had a billion and one reasons to shove these feelings as far down as they would go and try to forget that I'd even noticed that change in my heart.  But as these things go, the more you try to ignore the feeling, the stronger it gets.

Sofia would be in her room playing by herself and I'd feel it; a small, fleeting sense of wistfulness.  I'd easily dismiss it and thank my lucky stars that she was occupying herself, and I'd run off to do a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher.  

I'm dealing with some particularly nasty family drama at the moment, and I've really been leaning on my brother to get through it.  We've been having some amazing phone conversations and I'm so thankful that I'm able to confide in him.  We've been in this together and the experiences that we've shared have served to bring us closer together in this really tough time.  And then I feel it:  I'm thankful to have my brother.  And then I get wistful again.

I think of Sofia and her life path and how I want her to have those conversations.  Of course, not about nasty family drama, but conversations that only siblings can have.  

I am finally admitting what has been tugging at my heart for several weeks now.

My name is Desiree and I want another baby.

Good Lord, that is the first time I've said that out loud.  Well, out loud in a sense.  You know what I mean.

Me.  Not only am I a member of the One and Done club, I'm the president.  Every single time anyone would ask me, the answer was always a loud and proud Hell no!  No more babies!  

I could rattle off all the reasons, in my sleep.  Without trying.  Without pausing for breath.  Without a shred of guilt.

I'm terrified of more miscarriages.  Just because they 'figured out' the problem doesn't mean another one won't crop up and I don't want to deal with loss again.  I mean, who does, but you know what I mean.  

I'm scared of stillbirth.  One of the lovely complications of my clotting disorders is stillbirth.  That means I get 40 weeks of fear, give or take.  Right up until the end I would stress about giving birth to a dead baby.  Because having a live baby doesn't take away that fear.  It's there, always.

I'm scared for my marriage.  If you have noticed that I haven't written about me and Drew fighting that much, it's because we're not fighting that much.  He's home just about every night, he's helping with the baby, we're finding our routine and things are really good.  And it just got that way - like an hour ago.  Why in the hell would I want to turn that upside down by getting pregnant again?  Never mind the fact that neither of us does pregnancy that well.  No, lemme scratch that.  We suck at pregnancy.  Straight up, I don't want to be pregnant.  At All.  I told Drew that I am not opposed to someone dropping a baby on my doorstep - just so I wouldn't have to be pregnant.  He was not amused.

It's the hormones.  Oh Martha, the hormones.  I HATE that out of control feeling.  I hate feeling like the calm rational me has been bound and gagged while the crazy me destroys everything the calm me has worked so hard to create.  And I HATE feeling like I have a choice in the matter, like I could choose not to cry that I forgot to put conditioner in my hair before I got out of the shower.  As if I could choose to ignore that I had to ask you three times to take the garbage out because the smell makes me want to die and I have a choice about biting your head off.  

Our marriage needs me to be calm and patient and rational and when I'm pregnant, it's just not possible and I hate that.  

Because Drew is the logical one and there is no logic in hormones.  Therefore, when I say I'm craving Olive Garden and he hates Olive Garden and says that there are other, closer, better Italian restaurants and therefore refuses to take me to Olive Garden, well, that's grounds for a screaming match the likes of which I Do Not want to sign up for again.  These things happen when I'm hormonal and when he accuses me of choosing to be a bitch and choosing to blame it on my hormones?  Oh that's a fight for the ages and the mere thought of going down that road again makes my uterus board up the entrance with a giant padlock and a sign that says 'NO ENTRY.'

Because we're not good pregnant.

Now birth?  We fucking ROCK at birth.  I would give birth 65 times over, as long as I don't have to be pregnant.  Why can't I be like those people who don't know they're pregnant until the baby is crowning?  Where's the sign up sheet for that?

Not to mention my daughter.  My precious, perfect, amazing beautiful daughter.  My firstborn.  My life.  She is the reason I breathe and I wasn't alive until she came.

What if I don't feel that way about the next one?  I know they say you do, but what if I'm the first recorded case of the mother who doesn't?  The guilt would end me.  And what if she feels like I love her less?  What if she and her brother or sister hate each other?  What if they go through family drama and they don't lean on each other?  Then what's it all for?


Yet, the feeling remains.  This Little Soul has pulled at my heart and I have this overwhelming sense that they're waiting for me.  This soul is waiting for me with a calm assurance, like they know I'm coming and they're content to wait for me to get there, because I will.  Get there, I mean.

I've talked to Drew at length about this.  I've made him swear to take me to Olive Garden without so much as an eyeroll or huffy sigh.  I've made him swear to help me off the sofa without making fun of me.  He swears that he will take a deep breath and remind himself that I'm not doing it on purpose when I'm being bitchy.  That he'll remind himself that I hate it more than he does.  He swears that he'll walk the dog, do the grocery shopping and cooking any time that I can't.  

Because I'm so scared.  I know what I'm in for this time.  I have no delusions about any bit of it and I'm scared.

Yet, I went to the doctor last Wednesday because I wanted to introduce myself with no pressure.  With my history of complications and as particular as I am about birth, I did NOT want my first appointment with a doctor to be when I was pregnant.  I had the luxury of seeing my last doctor for nearly ten years and she knew what was up.  This time around, we have to feel each other out and I needed to know that they knew I wasn't just going to sit back and take orders just because they've got the white coat.  Thankfully, my appointment went really well and she seemed very open to working together to have the most positive experience we can.  I will have my 'pre-conception consultation' with the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist in the next couple of weeks to get a feel for how this will all go down, in this new city, with new doctors, in a new hospital.

Time is not on my side.  I will be 37 in three months and two weeks.  My cycles are still wonky because I'm nursing so I don't expect that this will be easy.  I don't know how long it's going to take and the older I get, the riskier the whole thing becomes - which adds another awesome layer to the scariness.

There is no logical reason to do this.  All evidence points to simply being thankful for what I have and not tempting fate.  But this Little Soul is waiting for me and I don't want to ignore the call anymore.  The wistfulness and the longing in my heart is not misplaced.  It's real and it's there and I know that if I were really meant to be One and Done, I wouldn't have this desire.

So I've prayed and prayed and prayed some more, because I can't do this alone.  I'm scared for my health, my marriage and my daughter and I'm not about to tackle those fears alone. But I'm beginning to feel the fire of strength.  It's only a little glow right now and it's only thinking about becoming a small flame but it's there.  I do know what I'm getting into, I know what I'm signing up for and I know I can make it through because I've already done it.

I hear you Little Soul.  I'm on my way.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's only paint

I'm on a mission to banish all builder beige from our house.  It's not a small mission because it is on every surface in this place, but step by step I'm gettin' it done.  So far, we have Behr's Silver Drop in the living room and hallway, Ocean Pearl in the kitchen and master bathroom, and Sherwin Williams Krypton in Sofia's bedroom.  When I get around to it, the guest bedroom will be in Krypton as well, and the hall bath will probably be in Ocean Pearl.

Silver Drop is a silver gray, Ocean Pearl is a green-y gray and Krypton is a blue gray.  I'm liking gray at the moment.  It's neutral without being boring and it's soothing.  I have far too much drama in my life to have to look at crazy paint colors, so that's what works for me.

However, when it came time to paint our bedroom, Drew wanted to shake it up.  He wanted the bedroom to be different than the rest of the house with a little more intensity.  So why not shake things up?  This the first beige blank slate we've had to truly make our own.  In our old house, the paint colors were already there and they worked for us, so we had that jumping off point.  But it was always someone else's house, someone else's design decisions.  Here, this is all us.  The good and the bad, this is truly our house.

So we went bold with the bedroom color.  And I'm scared.  I'm not sure what to think of it yet and I'm hoping y'all will help me.  But please remember this is my first time, so go easy on me.

I still wanted to stick with earthy colors, because you can rarely go wrong when you're picking from that palette.  It's when you start getting into the 'bold' 'bright' 'intense' colors you have to tread lightly because it's way easier to be led astray.  So we went with Behr's Coriander Seed, a greeny goldish color.  Grold, if you will.

I quickly learned that more intense colors are way less forgiving.  If you bump the ceiling while painting, you can Totally Tell.  There is a world of difference between the first and second coat and if you don't go over each spot perfectly, you will pay for it.  There was a ton of cursing while I painted, and I beg you not to look too closely until I can go back and touch up the spots I missed.

Can you tell I'm stalling with the picture sharing?  It's because I'm nervous.

Here goes.  If you hate it, be kind.
 I broke out the fancy camera but it was still crazy hard to capture the true color.
This is the picture we used as inspiration and the irony is
I don't think it'll work in the room anymore.
This is probably the truest representation of the color
and I do actually love how the lampshade really stands out against the wall.
I refuse to use the word 'pop.'
This also means we NEED a white duvet cover.
Maybe this guy?
Even the top of the dresser looks different and no, we don't have a bathroom door.
I took it off right after we moved because we couldn't fit 
the nightstand and dresser and leave room for the door to swing out.
One of these days I'm going to make a sliding barn door. 
One of these days.

I have three spaces for wall art and accessories and now that I've got this demanding color on the walls, I'm completely unsure about what to do.  The space above the bed is not centered so putting stuff above there is tricky.  I thought about playing up the off-centered-ness and putting two tiny decorations over the right side of the bed, opposite the windows.
Like this.
Could you see it?

Then there's the walls to the left and the right of the closet.  I would like some function out of those spaces but the room is so teensy, I don't want it to get overwhelmed.
There's so little clearance around the bed that only the shallowest shelf would work.
If I did shelves.  I just want to do something cool.
We have a big mirror that I could put here. Possibly.  Maybe.

I do like how the trim looks super crisp and bright white with the new paint and the floors look warmer.
You can sorta kinda see it.
I don't know if you can tell but I promise, the new paint really makes a difference.

I've never used a deep color like this before and when I was done, I wasn't like oh my god it's perfect!  It was more like damn, it's gonna take a long time to repaint this shit.  Of course, it *was* two in the morning and I was exhausted.  In the light of day, I'm starting to warm up to it.  

Why not take a risk?  Why not step outside the safe little predictable box?  Why not do something unexpected?

It's only paint.

Plus, I found some inspiration pictures that make me feel like I can make this work.
I have lots of black frames that I could use to make a mini gallery.
I love the giant mirror and the white trim.
I especially love that gold coffee table.
all images

I've never backed down from a challenge and I'm kind of excited to see what I can come up with.  Maybe y'all have some pointers for me?


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bedroom tweaks

Our neighbor's daughter has started babysitting Sofia on Sunday afternoons and it's pretty much the best thing in the world.  They're actually family of our contractor's wife, who is Drew's co-worker so they're not complete strangers to us, which makes me feel better about things.  However, she's only 11, so she's more of a mother's helper since I don't leave the house while she's here, but let me tell you!  Having her here is an absolute godsend!  She hangs out with Sofia and I get to handle up on my house tasks without a toddler underfoot.  It's the best $20 I have ever spent.

This past Sunday, while Sydney hung out with Sofia I was able to finish painting the hallway and I played around with some stuff in the bedroom.  Oh wait.  Hang on.  I MEAN, I did some decorating in the bedroom.  Good Lord.  Or did that sound dirty just to me?

Ok, moving on...

We have a very very long way to go in our bedroom.  It's a mess of beige and brown.
Pardon the haze.
I really should have used the fancy camera for these, but I get impatient when I'm on a decorating roll and it's hard to stop and remember to take pictures with something other than my phone.
So let's talk about my nightstand.
This is what it looks like in real life.
My painting clothes are always on the floor, 
and whatever I wore that day gets thrown on top.
Plus, it's wrong to have something so janky next to something so pretty.

I shouldn't be such a slob.  But the problem is that my dresser lives the in guest bedroom and at the end of the day, it is far too hard to walk the ten steps to the other room and put my clothes back in my dresser.  The top of my nightstand is much closer and way more convenient.  Also, I'm lazy - if you didn't catch that.

But, something had to be done.  Mostly because Drew was starting to throw his stuff around too and whenever I'd hiss at him to put his stuff away, he would pointedly stare at The Pile.  And I hadn't been to Target in a couple of days and I was starting to twitch.
I tried a basket with a liner, but it was off-white 
and the lampshade is bright white, so that didn't work.
No liner is a little better but I wasn't feeling the tapered shape.
Dark woven rectangle it is!
Now my slobbiness is contained!
I also picked up a small capiz frame from Marshall's for five bucks.
It's true - you can see the bright red clearance sticker on it.
I'm thinking of putting Sofia's Halloween picture in it, or in the one on top of the dresser.
Because really, how could I *not* print this out?

So, with the nightstand done, I went to the lights next.

Our ceiling fan has these hideous smoky glass covers.  I actually can't stand that ceiling fan.  I don't like seeing the light bulb in the light fixture and the covers in their lovely shade of Nicotine don't do much to make me hate it less.  We have plans to replace the ceiling fan entirely but I seriously couldn't look at those covers for another minute.  So Sofia and I went to a lighting store in search of white covers and found some on clearance for $2.50 each.  That's a price right up my alley.  She wrapped them up and while Sofia and Sydney played, I switched them out.
 I KNOW the tiger stripe is weird, but for $2.50 each, we're going with it.
I'm hoping it will spur a certain someone to hate it just enough to get on the Ceiling Fan Replacement Train.
It's not horribly noticeable and the white covers are a huge improvement over the Virginia Slim specials we had going on. 
At least now our beige bedroom isn't bathed in beige light.

SO!  On to the bathroom!

I went with a towel ring and I'm very happy with it.  It matches the faucet and toilet paper holder because with the room being so tiny, non-matching stuff would really stick out.  Then we got some glass shelves from Ikea and Drew hung those for me after I hit them with some Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  I started with a coat of copper so it might look a little more like the faucet and towel ring, but it ended up being too coppery.  At least the oil-rubbed bronze matches the medicine cabinet.
When in doubt, spray it.
We already had these canvases.  They are from Drew's time in Australia, 
and I can't remember if he took them or not. 

I moved Drew's perfumes to the shelves and not much else is living on them right now. 
 That allowed me to tweak the dresser just a little more.

But back to the bathroom.  The thing is, I'm torn as to whether or not it's too much in such a small space.
Are two shelves too much?  Should I do one shelf and some wall art instead?
Should I lower the canvases so they don't crowd the shelves?
I originally hung them higher because I was going to put something on the back of the toilet.
But now I don't know if I'm a stuff-on-the-toilet kind of person.
That picture is an 8x10 - I just put it up there for scale.

Okay, so what say you?  Two shelves or one shelf and wall art?  Lower the canvases or leave them and put some shit on the toilet?  Wait.  No.  What is wrong with me?  Put some plants and books and other acceptable decorations on the toilet.  Gah.  

The hallway is finally painted so I'm going to do a gallery wall as my next project.  I even bought a frame for the thermostat because I've always wanted to do that.
Like this.
Obviously, this won't be the only frame on the wall.
And yes, I'm taking notes from the Masters.

It's so great having an extra pair of hands to help with the baby because getting these small things done makes me feel so much more capable.  I feel like I've actually accomplished something, instead of looking up at the end of the day and having nothing to show for it.

And I wish you could see me right now because I'm sitting in the kitchen typing this and Sofia is sitting on my lap facing me - and nursing.  She's actually swinging her legs back and forth, just as happy as a clam.

So am I.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin