Our Weekend in Photos

Well, half of it.  My Mom came Sunday and in all my gallivanting excitement, I didn’t take a single picture of her time here with Boo baby.

This weekend was beautiful and totally enjoyable.  Saturday morning, we slept in a little and headed downtown pretty quickly.  We went to the Farmers’ Market, as usual, where we got some fresh food, and then headed over to the Arts Fair on the Square.  It was awesome!   It’s once a year, and the square is covered with tents and booths of the most creative people you’ll find in one place.  I find it totally inspiring.

Our favorite find was The Collective Press which is run by the most charming, lovely gal whom we loved instantly.  She is looking for a techy intern and I secretly want to do it!  Here are some of her rockin’ screen printed goods, including hounds-tooth note card sets and cool bicycle t-shirts which I failed to capture.

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We are still totally loving this original art print we got for the future office:

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She is working on creating an online store with greater overhead, so definitely look her up and check back around the holiday season if you have writers in your life.  Our print was only ten bucks and it is 6″x10″ on a hefty cardboard base.  Affordable and original stuff.  She has some adorable New Years cards that I can’t wait to buy!  (The Collective Press on Facebook is the best way to keep up with her.)

We also keep seeing this guy around town.  He was an English major (shocker–a wandering English major with no career) and takes great pride in his baristo cold brew method for his iced coffee from his days in New York.  Of course I couldn’t resist his witty logo.  Get it?  Uel Zing?  You’ll zing?  As in caffeination.  Plus his name is Sam”Uel”, so it’s pretty super in my book.  You know I geek out about stuff like that.  I just can’t help myself.

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As for the rest of the morning, we strolled, Si slept in the stroller, and we all sweated.  It was sweltering.  Hello, Indiana summertime!

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Hot husband (figuratively).  Hot baby (literally).  We stripped him down to a diaper and got his hair wet to cool him off.  Then he played in the grass with Sophie and all the passersby gawked at his darlingness.

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Favorite Things: Baby Edition

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In honor of our handful of expecting friends, this is a collection of our 0-6 month faves.  After raising other people’s babies for the last several years, I have a pretty good idea about what I love.  The favorites for me need to be functional, stylish, durable, and affordable–not easy criteria to meet in the world of baby goods!

These are the things we loved, and all of them are under $15 available on Amazon.  I should be providing the links, but Tim just came home for lunch unexpectedly, so I’ll make you do the work if you want them while I go have a lunch date.  (Also, you go ahead and try to convince people to stop buying a bunch of things you don’t really need once they see your bundle of joy–it ain’t easy. If you succeed, I want to know your secret.)

  Classical Baby:  The Music Show  and the others in the collection (art, dance, poetry shows) are lovely, simple classical music themed 25 minute shows.  I am not a fan of Baby Einstein, but these are alright in my book.  Sometimes you just need 25 minutes to regroup or cook dinner.  $6

Muslin swaddle blankets are great for chewing, snuggling, and covering up from the sun, and they also reduce the risk of SIDS (you can find a pack for $15 for 3 at TJ Maxx, but Aden+Anais are pictured and run about $35 for four)

Thermos Foogo stainless steel sippy cup–truly leak proof.  Amen!  $12  (We also like Nalgene sippies, but they do eventually leak when the seals get broken in.  You can buy new seals, but they are $6 for two replacements.  The Foogo we have has been through two boys before Si and is still going strong.  Bite the bullet and get the good one!)

SkipHop Duncks are the best bath toy ever for floating, pushing, chewing, drinking from, and pouring.  They are by far Si’s fave.  $9

Leveret jammies are sylish, affordable, and we don’t have any yet.  But we will!  $12

Robeez makes baby shoes, and they happen to make THE best baby socks on the planet.  Next kid, I will not buy any other kind.  The bummer is the lack of innovative color choices, but they have a stretchy part at the ankle as well as the top of the sock–genius.  $10 for 3 pairs

Indestructibles:  Mama and Baby.  Fantastic, machine washable, rip proof, chew proof, crinkly, awesome baby books.  Lots of cool titles!  $2-$6

Mustela baby wash and lotion, the #1 European baby product that smells amazing.  People constantly ask what we use.  That’s it.  A tiny dab of lotion covers all hints of spit up on your way out the door, believe us.  $10

Jellycat black and white giraffe.  I’m not into stuffed animals, but Jellycat makes the sweetest floppy ones–we have the zebra.  This giraffe is my second pick.  $12

Nuby teether.  This thing has saved our lives.  Seriously.  $4  (Note:  We also love Sophie the Giraffe, but I have nannied so many babes who didn’t love her that I hesitate to recommend spending $20 on a very cute, very popular giraffe.  See if you can borrow it from someone who doesn’t use it anymore.  That’s my advice.)  

Manhattan Toy Company Skwish:  Great for teething, sound exploration, tactile exploration, and it doesn’t hurt terribly when they topple over on it.  $12 (They have them at Once Upon a Child for $1.50 on occasion…  keep your eyes open!)

I also saw this great link for 15 toys that meet all the developmental milestones of the first year and beyond.  Written by an occupational therapist mama.
http://mamaot.com/2012/07/09/15-toys-for-babys-first-year/

Edit:  One thing I don’t love…  The Chicco stroller that goes with our travel system!  I had two different sets (green/gray and brown) thinking it was just the secondhand stroller, but no.  There is a design flaw with the stroller handle.  It is loose. Not in a dangerous, life threatening, it can come apart way, but rather in a just loose enough to totally jostle and wake your sleeping baby if you try to ease the stroller up or down a curb or bump or doorway kind of way.  Totally annoying.

Limits: We All Have ‘Em

Our life in Bloomington has been fraught with decisions that mostly involved travelling.  We live just close enough that we feel guilty or like we are missing out if we don’t come to extended family functions and just far enough away that we can’t just day trip it, which ends up eating the whole weekend.  Such has been our free time crisis for the last two years.  We don’t feel connected in Bloomington because we don’t spend free, relaxed time here.  Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely love it here, but we wonder if we would do it all again if we wouldn’t do a few things differently.  Say no more often to weekends away, try to look at our own tiny family as the priority over the larger family functions, maybe even live in town instead of in our peaceful place in the boonies we love so much.  Who knows?    

This weekend, we intended to go see my family and attend the Schleeter gathering that we missed last year.  We debated getting the house ready and then heading up north at ten, we debated leaving the house like it was for the first showing, we discussed how many times I have mentioned looking forward to seeing all the Schleeter babies on the same blanket and in the same yard, fishing poles swinging dangerously close to toddler heads and happy boys oblivious to all such things, blinded by the tiny glimmer of hope of catching a bluegill.  

Instead, I decided I was at my limit.  If you know me at all, you know I very rarely get to my limit where I just can’t take anymore.  We had company for the last week, which was so, so helpful in so many ways, but still out of our routine.  I kept my cold at bay for the last several days and lost the good fight today.  Tim has been working late, taking calls and being everyone’s superhero after hours because people’s quality of life is literally at stake and he is so good at his job.  There was no denying our house needed to be completely overhauled today for our first (and second) showings.  I just couldn’t do one more thing, and so we stayed home, complete with a sense of dissapointment-laden defeat and the knowledge that it was all my own doing.      

Our first showing was at ten this morning.  We are morning people, but no amount of morning hours would have been enough (ok, like 10 would have helped) to finish the to do list I had created in my head.  We prioritized, did what we could and got out the door.  And you know what we did?  We went to the lake and fed Silas.  We went to town, parked, went to the library, had a lunch date and took a stroll on Kirkwood.  We walked in the sunshine, saw strangers smiling at the summertime beauty, saw our baby experiencing new faces and new territory, and it was the sweetest morning ever.  It is the kind of morning we envisioned having most weekends in moving here, and yet I can’t think of a single weekend we have done it for the sake of one commitment or another.  

Here’s a challenge for you.  Take a day and create the day you always thought in your head would be the most relaxing, enjoyable day where you live.  Don’t wait for someone to come visit to seek out the things your town has to offer, and don’t wait for someone to go with you or it may never happen.  Do it for yourself.  You deserve it.    

For Sale: Peace and Quiet

Let me give you a hint:  it’s in the woods.  We have had our house on the market since Tuesday, and we already have two showings today, despite the fact that our online profile has no pictures yet.  We are still open to staying here another year if it doesn’t sell, so if it’s a quick turnaround, we will be all atwitter and maybe even a little devastated.  

Let’s rewind to yesterday.  At about three o’clock, Tim’s parents left after a week long visit helping us do finishing work, yard work, and other tedious tasks.  Thank goodness for that, because as soon as they left, I had a call for a showing today at 10am.  PANIC.  Full on panic melting down mommy at the GB house.  Oh, boy.  

We worked furiously on the rest of our (enormous) list until I dropped at about eight, and Tim at about midnight.  Still so much to do, but Tim got the basement in at least presentable shape.  This morning, I woke at five with a wicked cold.  At 7:30, Tim got a call from work (never a good thing) and Si was ready for the day, happy as usual.  Round two of panic ensues.  We scrambled, shoving random things into totes and laundry baskets that are temporarily living in our cars, but by golly, at five ’til ten, we were out of here and the house looked like this:

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There are lots of things we didn’t do that we hoped to, and there are lots of things might have done just a little differently, but this house is ready for someone to come put their spin on the most peaceful life in the woods they can imagine.  

Until then, we are loving the lack of stuff!  I mean LOVING.  Tim is in the basement finishing up a bit of trimming work before the five o’clock showing, and then I think we will officially force ourselves to retire the DIY mode for the rest of our time here.  If you come by tomorrow, don’t be surprised to see us marathoning some tv show on the couch, hot tea in hand.  Ok, probably just an episode here and there at naptime.  But still.

Happy Woodsy Time

We have been on a blogging hiatus because Tim’s parents have been here this week helping us finish up projects all over the house.  Yikes!  I won’t get into those just now because I haven’t taken any photos of them yet.  Here are a few random pics from the week.  We have had lots of walks, a few much needed dinners out, lots of help during the day to let me get things done, and lots of giggles with Grammie and Papa and Silvano P.

The house and yard are vastly improving.  Papa Rog has been working in the yard ALL week long, Mary Kay has been wielding a paint brush with me as we trimmed out an ungodly amount of woodwork this week, ReStore came and took away literally half a UHaul’s worth of furniture (AWESOME) and Tim made great progress in the basement office we are creating.  Huge achievements on all fronts.  I hope I can hire out the finishing work in our next house, can I just say that?

Si is loving his Daddy lately and tends to cry when he leaves the room unexpectedly and squeal as soon as he sees him after work.  Pretty sweet.  Tim is such a cute dad.  He takes the babe for a walk up the lane every night after work and Si babbles the whole way.  I think he is talking to the trees.  Sweet hippie baby!

Stay tuned for house pics to come.

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Transcend

Tim and I are pretty famous for making big changes, including getting married five months after we began dating and moving to various cities around the world without much notice.  I know some people think this is a crazy way to live, and we get that, but sometimes we just feel like we have mentally transcended, and often this translates to geographic movement as well.

Surprise!  We have decided to move.  We have talked a lot about it over the last several months, drafting and re-drafting our top three personal priorities for a new place to live.  Well, this week we decided for certain and called The Don, as we call him, about listing the house.  We will be moving to Lafayette, which is an hour and a half to either set of Si’s extended families and two hours flat to either Bloomington or Chicago, our two favorite Midwestern places. We are looking quite forward to spending more weekends doing things we want to be part of our lives and less time driving to see our families.   We have had mixed reactions, but we don’t really mind because we feel great about it.

For clarity’s sake, I should add that we are moving either this August or next Spring, pending offers on the house and working around Tim’s teaching experiences for his graduate program.  Potentially, we could be here another year and we are fine with that, but it felt like a good time to transition since we were both feeling gross about our jobs and trying to get things set up for our little family.

The past few days have been completely nuts trying to get big projects done so we can stage the house with one week’s notice.  It will officially be on the market on Saturday, just in case you’re jonesing for an A frame in the woods a mile from Lake Monroe.  It truly has been one of the craziest years of our lives, despite staying put in the Midwest.  One could argue the moving around and living in far away lands was markedly less crazy than moving into this house, taking down all the walls, and pregnantly fixing this puppy up one weekend at a time.

This weekend we tackled the island top from reclaimed oak, which is the same wood as the exposed wood in the ceiling of the kitchen and we are digging it.  We also finally did some major work in the basement with mudding drywall, painting everything a nice, soft camel color, and laying carpet.  We also did a ton of woodwork caulking and adding final pieces of baseboard, and we are shocked at the visual difference caulk can make!

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There is more to be done in the basement, but this is so much progress.  We are still going to add a stone facade to the bottom of the walls, different furniture, a rug makeover, and a few other aesthetic changes.  Let’s not forget, we started here:

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This week, we have to have the random jacuzzi tub un-plumbed and carpet/paint/furnish that room for staging.  We also have to tackle the rest of our disastrous living space, which currently looks like this:

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Yup, that’s our old couch in our bedroom, loaded with crap that doesn’t belong there.  Keeping it real.  It’s pretty intense around here right now.  Here’s to wrapping things up so we can enjoy our clutter free house!  Why does it take a move to motivate us to get rid of all the crap taking up space and energy, anyway?