Good bye, baby years.

After a long journey spanning three home purchases, two cities, two pregnancies, and two bouncing bundles of joy, this blog space is out of room.  No, literally–I am out of photo uploading room.  I considered buying more storage, but in the end, I have decided to treat it as its own hectic, happy chapter in our book.  I am even going to print out every post (hundreds of them–like 300!) and use it to commemorate our voyage into parenthood and homeownership.  Sort of like a baby book for our life together.  Is that weird?  Anyway.

Our new blog space is similar and can be found here:  https://thegarnerballardabode.wordpress.com/

NOTE:  If you formerly subscribed to this blog and it’s showing up in your email right now, you need to RE-subscribe to the new one if you want to continue to get the latest from the GB’s.  Thanks for sticking by us these past few crazy, lovely years.

9 months/27 months

These babies are hilarious.

SILAS

STORIES:  Si is a riot these days.  He is speaking in sentences of four or five words, and he’s fixated on the funniest things.  He got bit by a stink bug right next to his eye and we flushed it with water by hanging him baptism style over the claw foot tub.  The following week and a half he would randomly holler “bug!  eye!  hurts!  water tub.  ow!  all done!”  or something along those lines.  Then I was starting dinner on Valentine’s Day and I heated a pan that had a little coconut oil in it.  I threw in a pat of butter and POOF the whole thing burst into flames two feet high.  I screamed like a five year old and Tim took the pan outside, flaming like a flambe gone wrong all the while.  Silas is still telling every person he sees “pan!  hot!  fire, smoke, beep beep beep!  mommy AHHHHH!  daddy fix it.  pan outside.”  Thanks, kid.  Way to keep it on the down low and make me seem like a stellar cook.  He redeemed himself by singing a little Beethoven at Maren’s well baby check and impressing our pediatrician.  Thanks, Peg+Cat!

STATS: weighs 28 and a half pounds, 35 inches tall

LOVES:  Playing music and cooking at Karma and Elizabeth’s house, turkey sandwiches, steamed broccoli, dried fruit strips, ice cream, cereal, bath time (but is afraid of the shower since accidentally turning it on), singing so many songs with all syllables and almost no correct words.  He’s not tone deaf, so we can usually pick up what he’s putting down!

HATES: Limits of any kind.  Having just one of something (medicine, vitamins, popcicles).  Being told it’s time to leave the old house/new house/library/wherever.   He’s so two these days.

MAREN

STORIES:  Mare is on her hands and knees rocking back and forth all day long. She’s so ready to go!  She pulled up to standing this week a few times and did downward dog a few times as well.  She’s pretty motivated by Silas, the cat, or any kind of food to attempt to crawl.  Still crawling backward and crying about being stuck once she’s wedged against the couch or wall.  She sings when I sing, she dances when Silas sings.  The girl has moves.  She’s so funny.  She loves music as much as Si does.  I love having musical babies!

STATS: Holding steady at 20 pounds and 27.5 inches long

LOVES: Food!  Steamed broccoli, veggie straws, baked sweet potatoes, pasta, literally anything that Silas is eating.  We just sort of give her food from our plates and let her go to town.  She ate part of Si’s peanut butter sandwich this week, so apparently we are in the clear for nut and wheat allergies.  She really doesn’t like anything sweet–no fruit unless you really catch her in a good mood.  She will take a dried fruit strip or a prune, but no fresh fruit except a little banana now and then.  What’s not to like about fruit??  She’s not starving by any means.  I think she could survive just off the stickers, clementine peels, and crackers she finds on the floors.

 HATES: Medicine time, the nebulizer, having her face wiped, the car seat (still), sleeping at the new house, being out of eye shot of mama at any time.

After we get unpacked and I find my battery charger, I’m going to take some good photos of the babies.  Sorry the blog has been so devoid of photos and real posts these last few transition months.

We will be changing to a new blog in the near future.  This one will stay for the sake of archives, but we will be using another page with more consistent content and a different name.  Stay tuned if you want to.

The funk.

We have had a weird week. We started the week with trips to see the doctor three days in a row for ear infections for both kids, bronchitis for Silas and RSV for Maren. Scary crap. I will be the first to welcome Springtime and fresh air with open arms.

We have had the funk for damn near the whole winter. It’s starting to give me a bad mom complex. Thank god every other mom I know has sick children, too. I mean that in the most loving of ways. You know your friends love you when they send you things like this hilarious article to make you feel better. And I did order oils!!

If any of you are considering dabbling in essential oils, do it. Make sure they are high quality (DoTerra or Young Living). Marjoram stopped Silas’s night coughing literally immediately. Like he woke coughing six times in a half hour, I put it on the bottoms of his feet, and bam. Not one cough all night. Magic. Also, my sister is a hideous sleeper who wakes several times a night and doesn’t sleep long ever. My cousin’s cool wife directed us to vetiver oil. <<thanks! Blair! Boom. The first great night's sleep in several weeks. I don't know why I keep being so surprised when they actually work. Anyway. Try one or five. They are changing our lives. We also have the Hyland's homeopathic kit and kid kit, both of which I swear by. Worth the investment. Note: if you want to get into homeopathy without dropping $100, just order the kid kit at first. They are the same strength as the other kit, and the kid directions come in the book with it (awesome resource) but the grown up dosages are on the bottle labels.

We are making strides on the house this weekend. The flooring arrived friday, so that's a project for next weekend. Yesterday I unpacked the kitchen stuff and got it all put away. Feels nice! We also painted Silas's room, patched and painted Maren's room, and Tim painted the master bedroom yesterday. We were on our A game, thanks to some Starbucks half caff.

We celebrated Valentine's Day casually. I am sick with a nasty cold, we worked on the house all day yesterday, and we came home to cook filets and drink wine. It would have been lovely, but by the time we got two sick kids settled into bed, it was all cold. Oh well. Karma and Elizabeth came down for some good laughs and some even better biscotti with dark chocolate dipping sauce. Me-ow. It was amazing!

Tim got me a few presents from my wish list for the house. So sweet. We now have a claddaugh door knocker and a white porcelain Buddha head essential oil burner. I'm in love. I booked Tim a massage with our favorite massage therapist on the planet, Monica at Mar Don Salon. We have missed her dearly. I slacked this year and got less than stellar cards. I also forgot that I had children and didn't get them anything. I love Valentine's Day! I don't know what's wrong with me. Guess I just got lost in all the germs around here. It was hard to get out of the house this week, to say the least.

Up next for us: flooring on Saturday. Yay! We will finally move in after the floors are in downstairs and the two bedrooms are refinished upstairs. It seems like three months away.

Four Square: Week Two

This weekend was hectic and really fun for me.  My parents came down and–surprise!–brought Kait and Oliver, too.  Silas was thrilled, and so were we!  Lots of laughing and projects and choo choos going on.

We had big plans Saturday… the kind involving a uHaul truck and several appliances.  Tim and Dad did a roundup of a washer and dryer, giant tv cabinet, table saw and bead board purchases, and full size desk from Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  That place is a goldmine for furniture projects, and they have color coded sales all the time.  Our huge desk ended up running us a whopping $12 after the 60% off green tag.  I was giddy!  We also squeezed in loading and unloading a round of belongings and dropped them at the new house before we had to return the truck, so that should cut the official move in half.  Woop woop.  Tim also surprised me and got the dining room light fixture, hooked it up, and got rid of the other one while I ran errands.

It was especially helpful to have Mom and Dad here because Silas was under the weather (again) and we thought he had croup.  Poor Silas.  He got the crappy lung genes from both sides and if something’s in the air, he gets it.  You’d think he only eats crackers and gets no nutrients the way he has been sick this winter.  I feel like a bad mom.  And YES, I WIPE DOWN THE SHOPPING CARTS.

After the Urgent Care visit on Sunday, we found out it’s just a wicked chest cold (which he shared with me and Mare–yipee) as well as a double ear infection.  Found that one out right after I said “he’s my respiratory issue kid–he never gets ear infections, but Mare does”.  Yup.  Karma.  He is much better today and his fever is gone finally.  We are using marjoram and the Breathe blend of DoTerra oils, and they are working splendidly for nighttime coughing.

Today, all the HVAC work began at the new house, so we will have all new ductwork, a reconfigured and more efficient furnace, and an air conditioning unit by the end of the week.  We had gutters cleaned out and new guard put on yesterday.  The flooring comes midweek and will start this weekend.  We’re still hoping to be fully moved in by the end of the month.  In fact, we will probably start staying there on and off in the next week or so.  It was rough to drive a half hour back to the woods after Urgent Care yesterday knowing we could have been home in a mere mile.

Four Square: Week One

This week (yes, I know it’s only Wednesday) has been productive.  We nerdily admit that we can’t wait for the weekend to be able to work more on the house.  On Monday, Mary Kay and I deep cleaned the downstairs, including floors, cabinets and behind appliances.  We also finished trimming out some painting projects and updated a few light fixtures with shade swaps.

Tuesday, Tim dropped us off in the morning and took us home midday.  While we were there, I patched the (1000) holes in our master bedroom walls, painted all of the kitchen cabinets, and measure for flooring.  Tim consorted with the HVAC guy (we had three companies give us quotes, so it was time to pick one) and did some scheduling.  It looks like our new ductwork, AC unit, and furnace will be finished by the end of next week.

This brings us to flooring!  It’s the last thing on the list before we move in.  Two of the four bedrooms upstairs are not refinished, so they need some attention.  We are ordering downstairs flooring today, which we intended to do last week as soon as we closed since it is being shipped.  We were a little iffy on the kitchen floor being wood as well, so we held off for a few days.  We have decided not to do wood in the kitchen, so now it’s ordering time!  We are taking a trip out West this summer, so we are using Chase’s Sapphire card (Tim researched cards exhaustively–finance major!) and we will put the flooring and HVAC work on that card and immediately pay it off with a little bonus of two plane tickets.  Booyah.  We rarely play the credit card game (and yes, it is a game), but we are this time around since we know we already have the money to pay it off the same day.  Living on one mediocre income, the thought of free airline trips gets us all atwitter.

Speaking of money, I have had the most exhilarating craigslist week of my life.  Well, one of them.  I’ve had a lot of those.  We found a year old high efficiency Maytag washer and dryer, my dream dishwasher (Whirlpool Quiet Partner–seriously, we have had three, and no rinsing dishes required), a long skinny coffee table, and a solid wood mission style tv cabinet for a whopping total of $450.  YEAH!  I would have willingly paid more than that for any one of the appliances or cabinet.

 We need some feedback.  Has anyone used Formica 180FX synthetic stone counters?  Know anyone who has?

This weekend we hope to be painting the laundry room, Master bedroom, and Si’s room, hooking up the washer and dryer, swapping out the dishwasher, and bead boarding the downstairs bath ceiling.  My parents work at the speed of light, so we will probably get most of these done on Saturday and take a breather on Sunday.  We are trying to temper our excitement about projects with built in down time since we spend the weeks with long hours and two babies.  Last time we were doing this, we had one baby (he was the exact age that M is now!) and Tim was home three days a week.  Crazy.

I can’t begin to tell you how eager I am to unpack the boxes that have been packed since October.  I’m not sure if I’m more excited to find our toothbrush heads or to finally have more than one bedroom.  Ok, for sure I want my sleep space back.  All four of us in one room has been downright miserable.

Home Sweet (Third) Home

Our third and final home for the next few decades is quite a beast.  The walls have all the markings of a wonky old house, the drywall is ugly in many parts, and the paint colors?  Don’t even get me started.

We closed on Friday afternoon at four and headed out first thing Saturday morning to get paint (11 gallons) and supplies galore.  From 1pm Saturday to 3pm Sunday, we were freakin’ rockstars.  Tim’s parents came for baby back up and we started by patching lots and lots of drywall.  Then, we painted the dining room, kitchen, office/entry, stair well, landing, living room, and downstairs bathroom.  Primer was definitely involved.

There are so many things we love about this house, though.  It has so much space (four bedrooms in town is very, very hard to find), a claw foot tub, a sliding barn door in the bathroom, wood floors upstairs, wide open doorways, a practical kitchen (although we will miss our last kitchen–it was enormous), lovely black and white tile in the upstairs bathroom, a big wooded yard on a corner lot, and walkability to downtown Bloomington.  This house is already the shiz, and we don’t even live there yet.  Before we move in, we are going to lay all of the flooring downstairs (four rooms) and have some HVAC work done.

We are replacing the baseboard and window trim with craftsman trim, so it wasn’t necessary to be meticulous with all of the painting this weekend, which helped a lot with the speed of things.  We are super happy with the colors we picked and the way they look and feel.  It already feels way more like us in there, for certain.  We can’t wait for next weekend to get another handful of things chalked off the list.  We are ordering flooring tomorrow for the whole main level (yikes) and getting organized with a calendar in hand for the rest of the big projects.  My parents will be here next weekend to help, which will be super.

Here she is before we got our hands on her.  Yes, there are currently two front doors.  Thank god, or else it would have been out of our price point.

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And after paint:

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