Monday madness

So, I’m not much for March Madness (Tim and Silas totally are), but I am one for Monday madness.  In fact I quite prefer it.  Tim came home from a long Monday and said four magical words:  “Let’s do crown moulding.”  I had really wanted to get it done on the weekend since it would really make a huge visual difference with the backsplash, but we ran out of hours and I knew it would be a big job, so we put it off for another weekend.  I was shocked that he was up for it after a rough day, having never done crown before, but he was amazing!  There were wonky angles and exterior mitered corners and the whole bit and he totally rocked it.  Silas, best baby ever, sleeps through the compressor and nail gun as well as the chop saw.  The kid only sleeps for 45 minutes but at least he sleeps like a rock!  Sweet boy.  By nine o’clock, we were done.  Ready for me to caulk and paint today!

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Speaking of Si, look who has a new big boy carseat!  

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And look how long he is getting!  Crazy.  The Gap jammies I swore would never fit… Sigh.

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More home projects in the works this week, we hope.  Tons of company this weekend with the Campbell clan and Tim’s parents!  Woohoo!

Holy home improvement, Batman

We had a massive home improvement weekend and it was awesome.  My parents came down for yet another working weekend.  It seems like every time they come, we spend the entire day doing enormous projects.  Thank goodness they are willing to help because it makes for very productive spurts of DIY progress.

Want to know what we did?  Well, I’m thrilled to tell you we installed a kitchen backsplash, made over the fridge handles of our new, smaller fridge, and built in said fridge as well as the oven to finish out the cabinetry. More cabinet prettying in the near future, but for now we are loving the improvement.

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Si provided some wicked moral support.  He is such a sweet boy!  He was wonderful all day while we were terribly busy and productive.

Back to the kitchen, we replaced the basement door which used to be a beat up, old, doggy door inclusive beauty with a brass knob.
Ta da!

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While we were at it, we replaced all the other knobs in the house with brushed nickel versions.  I can’t believe the difference.  We got pretty lucky and got all but two of them from Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Thanks for scouting those out, Timmy!

Speaking of Timmy, he and my Dad were quite busy in the basement doing step one of the makeover to come which involved building a wall, insulating, hanging a frameless but gorgeous wood exterior door on a crooked concrete floor, and hanging the interior basement door that was about an inch and a half too tall for the space.  Go, boys, go!  They totally rocked the project challenges.  Here’s a little before and after:

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Along with the doorknobs, we have spent the day changing out the bathroom faucet (which was trickier than expected) and planning a few more projects for the week.

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Then we worked on weatherstripping all the doors in the house several months later than we should have.  But it’s done!  I also tried my hand at a little wood staining and cutting in with a paint brush instead of taping.  Those were both pretty much C- tasks.  Practice makes perfect.  More practice, that is.

Guess who loves to watch basketball.

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4 months old!

Happy four months to our little Boo!  

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Today, Silas…

weighs 15 pounds 3 ounces

puts EVERYthing in his mouth

is giggling!!

and loves it when we sing The Grand Old Duke of York.  Atta boy.

Spring cleaning of the mind

Each Spring, we get all giddy and excited about life as things start sprouting out of the ground.  Somehow, the end of the long Winter (even when it’s mild) begs us to take a cue for a little mental renaissance.   Here’s what we are reading, thinking about, and doing for ourselves this season.

1.  Slowing down the time we have together

Tim and I are both working full time now, and it is easy to let busy days and interrupted nights continue for days on end.  This morning, I saw this on Pinterest and I was reminded once again how much our culture approves of the hectic life.  We find the meaningful conversations only happen in the evenings if we turn off the technology and leave the workday out of the dialogue.  Turn the radio off and listen to the birds.  Sit somewhere with sunshine on your face for a few minutes.

2.  Educating ourselves on food 

With all the emphasis on Paleo, eating clean, 100daysofrealfood.com, and other attempts to help us all clean up our ingestion acts, there is no better time to take a closer look at what foods are really feeding our bodies and what should probably go by the wayside.  For us, we are on the look out for GMO foods and ingredients we can’t pronounce, and we choose to only eat ethically raised meat if we eat it at all.   We also are really digging our themed dinners for making sure we get good foods in on a daily basis.

The best way to determine whether something is really good for you?  Ignore the funding based recommendations and go with research based material.  For example, the dairy industry funds the American Medical Association.  Automatic bias is involved, which makes both of these poor sources of nutrition advice in my book since they are no longer recommending things based on the best interest of my health.  Everyone knows there is a decent amount of calcium in milk BUT the part the advertisers leave out is the high level of phosphorus in milk that prevents it from being absorbed by human bodies.  Most of the American population has no idea.

Too much work to mess with finding out who is funding whom?  Stick with research based studies from places like Harvard.  Here is the image of the Harvard based healthy eating plate.  Read the small print.  Notice that it differs from myplate.gov in the dairy recommendations.

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For overall education on how foods affect the body, we are re-reading and recommending Skinny Bitch.  Crass, but highly educational.  This book promotes absolute veganism.  We’re not vegans and don’t plan on going back down that road, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want the facts about the things we put into our bodies.  It will completely change the way you eat for the better, and it will probably creep you out.

  

3.  Being our own fact checkers

Regardless of partisanship, I think we can all agree that the election media coverage was enough to make a person gag.   I think election time is the window during which American media displays its true, ugly colors.  One station says this, the other station says that, each nastier than the first.  No, thanks.  I have an allotted amount of energy each day, and I don’t want to sift through insults and opinions trying to decide if anything is relevant to our life.  I have searched high and low for some “nonpartisan think tanks” that provide facts with minimal drama.  If you’re fed up with news story negativity, swap out your news app for one from these top contenders instead:

AlterNet is one of my favorite online news sources. Their mission describes them as “award-winning news magazine and online community that creates original journalism and amplifies the best of hundreds of other independent media sources.” Their goal is “to inspire action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, health care issues, and more.”

The Real News is another one of my favorites. The header of their website proclaims, “NO GOVERNMENT, CORPORATE OR ADVERTISING $$$,” which stands as a marker of self-proclaimed nonpartisanship, political and otherwise. They report on news from all around the world, offering stories ignored by most other major outlets.

Reuters, an international news agency stationed in London, is so dedicated to journalistic objectivity that they sometimes receive criticism for it. After the September 11 attacks, they were accused of insensitivity because of their reluctance to use the word “terrorist” except when in quotes.

The Independent is a U.K. newspaper that reports on news from around the world. While its status as “independent” often garners accusations of liberalism, the paper does not endorse any political party and offers a wide range of views on different topics.

PBSBBC and CSPAN are also major notable outlets. When compared to others, such as Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN, they offer unprecedented objectivity.”

4.  Watching crappy television

We are pretty cerebral and boring most of the time, but we love our crappy TV shows.  We are still digging Castle in the fifth season, which is drawing to a close.  We are totally stoked about the summer series Rookie Blue coming back on for a third season, and later in the year for Downton Abbey to return.  We are also getting ready to start BBC’s North and South again in tandem with my parents.  Nerdy miniseries get us going.  What can we say?

    

Saint Patty is upon us

We have a special place in our hearts for all things Irish (Notre Dame, St. Patty’s, the color green…) and we were happy to run errands with this spirited fellow over the weekend.

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(Sorry for the phone picture!)

We had a pretty exciting week because Silas is really starting to crack up on a regular basis.  We think it’s totally hilarious every single time.  I’m sure it will wear off.  It’s like my sister says, you end up with a newborn and hear yourself talking constantly about your kid’s new tricks or baby poop every time you are in decent company.  So true.

After errands to Target and the library, we came home to cook out since Saturday was so beautiful.  Our friends, Jess and Nate, came over and the boys got to meet Silas.  They were so excited and darling.

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Our tiniest cap finally fits now that this guy is topping 15 pounds.  He looked so cute at UU service this morning.  We haven’t been in a while, so it was nice to be back and see familiar faces.

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He is getting so big!  He is rolling over again after a 2 month hiatus.  He rolled over at about four weeks and then has been too lazy to do it since.   He also is loving the upright life, observant kid that he is.

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And one last huzzah for the week–he found his thumb again and keeps it in his mouth ALL day long except for naps, which is weird.  But this kid definitely has pruny thumbs all the time.

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Long Weekend: sunny days, extended family, happy babe

We had a fantastic long weekend!  We went to visit my family because it was Oliver’s 4th birthday and because my uncle and cousin were in town from Texas for the first time in years. Silas was an absolute champ–I think he is turning a social corner and really enjoying new faces.  He was a happy babe the whole day long!

As usual with our extended family, we ended up with about 50 people in one spot for an afternoon and it was lovely to catch up with people we only see a few times a year at best.  Here are some shots of the weekend:ImageImage

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We had a dozen kids there, most of whom were under the age of five.  I am pretty sure there were pretend sword fights, tea parties, pirate ship/tree house playing, new bike riding, and popcicles.  It was the first outside play day of the Spring and the kids were totally digging it.  So cute.  Silas got to meet his cousin, Solomon, who made his arrival a week before Si, and it was great to see Em, knowing we are on the exact same baby page (although she has three more than I do, so she is a pro by now).

Thanks to all the Schleeter crowd who made the trip to see Rob!  I was so happy to see you all.

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We are going to be gone this weekend to celebrate Oliver’s 4th birthday and visit with my Uncle Rob and cousin, Chrislin.  Tim has never met them, so Silas certainly hasn’t either.  There will be lots of extended family visiting going on and we’re excited!

Since we won’t be here to work on the house this weekend, it’s safe to share what we’ve gotten done so far this week.  Ta da!

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We have more cabinets above the fridge (currently doorless since they are wet) and are in the process of building an island.  It’s all primed but not painted, and ignore that the island is topped by a mirror and a pie board.  It works and we have already used it so many times and mused about the reasons we didn’t add it months ago.  We are still debating whether we have enough floor space to create an eat in kitchen feature, which would be good for resale in such a tiny living space.  Hm…  We still have a long list to do in the kitchen, like a backsplash and some more cabinet work, but we have some of the details coming together and it feels great!

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This little guy is having a super (and slobbery) Wednesday.  We have been singing motown all day.  He loves it.

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We enjoyed waking up to one of the last snows of the winter this morning, but we are equally excited about the warm weather heading our way for the weekend.  Bring on the sunshine.

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Our Weekend in Photos

We did a few home projects this weekend and chilled with baby Boo.  He is such a snuggler.  We just love him.

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I decided it was time to wash all the baby toys since they are going straight to the kid’s mouth.  My nanny toddler thought it was hilarious that she got to put them all in the bathtub.

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Si has made huge strides this week in sleeping/waking routines and we are so grateful for decent sleep.  We are consistently down to two wake ups at night again.  He also seems to be over the hump of colic and is going to bed early enough that Tim and I can chill out and have a conversation (or dessert) before collapsing into our very comfy bed.  Turkey Hill chocolate ice cream is the shiz.  4 ingredients and it tastes like love.

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This was well deserved.  Tim tackled the eaves in the kitchen that used to be disgusting exposed insulation.  Now they are closed up, caulked, and painted pretty white like the beams.

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Silas is really digging his mobile these days.  He talks to the airplanes and finds them totally enthralling.  It is adorable.

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Finally, I had my first baby free shopping excursion today and came home with Phil the ficus.  I love him already.  It’s so nice to have some green in our space, even if it isn’t real.

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The weekend is half over.  On deck for tomorrow:  a potential meet up with Tim’s friends passing through our neck of the woods, rearranging our bedroom (again), and making a few purchases for the next phase of kitchen remodeling.  Be excited–it’s going to be awesome.