22 November 2013

7 Quick Takes: Doorknobs, Cellphones, and a Cute Sous Chef

Well, I got the call I was fearing today. My childhood pet died. Frisky the cat lived a wonderful 20 years, roaming around the cul-de-sac I grew up on for all those years. I wrote a post about a month ago about my cat if you want to know more (like why he only has 3 legs).

Speaking of my family, they are all driving here for the holiday! My mom, dad, sister (pregnant with twins!), her husband, and 2 kids are all piling in a van tomorrow and making the trek from Georgia to Indiana. They'll be stopping overnight and getting here on Sunday. I'm so excited. I even have a list of fun stuff we can do--which was a harder list to make now than it would have been a few months ago, since a lot of things are just not doable or even open in the cold weather.

In a house update, we have been changing out the door knobs this week.



It's definitely an improvement from the brassy gold thing (and that obnoxious handle thing which can't be childproofed and I kept getting my finger caught in). But I'm still not 100% sure about it. I feel like oil-rubbed bronze would have looked better with this wood, but I loved the kitchen knobs that were stainless on wood so everything just got based on that. I don't know, what do you think?

We also got a tile and grout cleaning done by Stanley Steemer today. I thought it would be more dramatic, but it turns out that our grout had long ago been sealed and painted. That's good, in a way (except for the grout paint that got on the tile), but I'm still glad we did the cleaning.



Now if it's dirty, I can only blame myself! (Or, um, a certain toddler who throws food if she doesn't want it . . .)

I have spent the last month researching, and I think I'm ready to take the plunge. I will soon be a smartphone user! B decided to cancel his dumbphone with Verizon, since he has a company iPhone. He has barely used his dumbphone in the past year, but we kept paying for it every month. Well, that frees up just under $40 per month for us, and I can finally cut the apron strings from being on a family plan with my mom and dad (which was cheap, but, um, I've been married for 4 years! It's time!).

I have decided to go with a no-contract plan, since for a single user I am 100% positive it's a better deal than any of the big names. While Republic Wireless is probably the best deal out there with Virgin Mobile a close second, I have decided to go with Ting instead. I'm going to buy a Samsung Galaxy S3 off of Ebay for about $200. The good news is that if I hate the plan, I can just find something else. I'm purposely choosing a good phone that can be used with a lot of different no-contract plans, just in case this happens. But I'm excited about this. Hey, I might even join Instagram! I've been a dinosaur for wayyyy too long.

(Also, there is a referral program that can save you money so let me know if you want to join after I join. Some internet stranger gave me a link for a $25 credit!)

My husband B has his "weekend" mid-week for whatever reasons. This is good sometimes, like when I want to go to the gym while Cora naps. B confessed to me tonight that while I was out on Tuesday, he decided to watch Sleeping Beauty on his own while his daughter was asleep. He mostly did this because neither of us could even remember that movie. (I'm actually not sure I have ever even seen it.) Cora has some Disney princess board books that we read, and in the Sleeping Beauty one they call her Briar Rose just randomly, and it bugged him.

Well, over dinner tonight he gave me the entire synopsis of the movie and even threw in a critique of why it was sub-par to Snow White. It apparently needed more singing.

As much as I feel that Cora is a Daddy's girl, she is starting to get pretty clingy to me. Especially when I try to cook dinner. She clings to my legs and wants me to pick her up.

My solution: making her my sous chef. I even put an apron on her today. (I think Santa needs to bring her one in her own size. Hint hint, big guy.)
My phone started ringing right as I was taking the picture.
She immediately went from "cheese!" and smiling to this.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

16 November 2013

House Updates

I think you can tell how much sleep I have or haven't been getting by how often I post. These past few weeks have been a trial. I have 30 posts in draft mode but none complete enough for me to hit the "publish" button. (Perfectionist's curse?) I haven't slept well because Cora hasn't slept well. I'm basically re-sleep-training her, and that kinda sucks.

But here are some moving and house updates, since that's what's up.

Our big move was on Sunday, Oct. 27th.

We hired some local college football players to just do the heavy lifting, and B drove the Uhaul.

The whole move took less than 3 hours! Hooray for Big Guys. (No, seriously, that's the name of their company.)

Our kitchen used to look like this:

Then it looked like this for almost a week:

And now it looks like this:

We need to figure out the 'command center' table situation (on the left), since that's actually my sewing table. My in-laws have a skinnier table that is going to go there when they can bring it up. I'm also going to get a bulletin board and some desk organizing things. The island is still a mess and we're still finding 'homes' for stuff. (My purse actually has a new home, as we put some hooks up in the hallway.)

We will be changing out the lighting fixtures soon. I'll have a 'totally finished' after picture one of these days.

We did, however, switch out all the knobs already.
Before picture:
In the words of Galinda: "Hidee-oh-dee-ous!"
And after:
Rectangles are fun!

Now for some other rooms.
As much as I'm still not a fan that our master bedroom faces the street (almost didn't look at this house because of it), I'm in love with the accent wall we did in there. (And by "we," I mean the guy we paid to do it, along with the other tall areas of the house.)

I decided this will also be the color of our dining room, and luckily we had enough leftover paint to do it.

The dining room is the only room in the house trimmed out in white, and it was previously a dark maroonish red. For whatever wacky reason, it was done in a matte paint, and I think it was sprayed on. It was in bad shape, and it definitely needed actual primer and not that combo stuff we used in the other rooms.
This was after we took down the ugly floral draperies.
The air vent in the top left corner was definitely sprayed, and it is still red behind it. We got a new white one because who paints air vents??

After picture, mostly. Still needs a new light fixture and maybe some new curtains.

Oh, it also needs furniture, since we have no big dining table or whatever.

Lastly, it turns out that even though there were a gabillion and one cables going into this house, they were all for various satellite dishes and crap we don't want, and none for Comcast cable internet. So they came and laid a cable. It is bright orange and goes diagonally across our whole backyard, into our garage somehow, then up to the attic, and then it somehow does something down in the basement. I don't know; I just live here. They said it would be dug and buried within 2-3 weeks, but it's already been 2 and I think they'll be getting another piece of my mind next week.

So far, this house is a constant (expensive) project. I want it to just be "done" but that involves buying a lot of furniture and having more offspring or something.

I don't know a good way to end this post so here is a picture of our porch when it a few days ago. I don't think I've witnessed snow this early in the season before, but it is only my second year in Indiana. I have much to learn.

04 November 2013

Real Motherhood: Books, Books, Books

I went to the dentist a few weeks back, and the hygienist and I had a conversation about our kids. She has a daughter that's about 5 months younger than Cora, so obviously we needed to compare notes. At one point she asked me what Cora was into, and all I could think in reply was, "Everything." (Because that's what people say about toddlers, right?) Two seconds later, as the hygienist was speaking again, I realized it wasn't true. She said her daughter had recently got really into . . . "Books!" I actually finished her sentence for her, even though I'm pretty sure she had her fingers in my mouth.

I told her to not expect that to end. Because it hasn't for us.

All day long Cora wants me to read to her. It's cute and fun, most of the time. But some other of the time, it's just annoying. "Mama's hands are busy" is an oft-used phrase around here, because sometimes I really cannot drop whatever I'm doing (usually cooking) and read to her. "You read it to me" works sometimes, but not always.

Now that we're in a 2-story house, it's getting difficult because Cora's favorite place to read is the glider in her room, which is now upstairs. We've employed the baby gate to block the stairs a bit, but that's a pain if I need to get up there (it also doesn't fit on our stairs well). Before and after her nap I usually let her play in her room a bit, but really the only toys in there right now are about ten of her books. She doesn't seem to mind one bit.

Of course we gave her the room with the built-in bookshelf!
(Still working on unpacking Cora's library, though)
I think what takes the cake here is on Halloween we were trying to get her out the door to go trick-or-treating, and she straight-up REFUSED to go until Fox In Socks was read to her. I'm a pro at that tongue twister now (Cora now says the word "gooey" because of the "blue goo" page), but Daddy thankfully obliged her this time. Oh yeah, all the books she wants read are at least 30 pages (if not 60)--thanks for nothing, Dr. Seuss!

Even though it's annoying, I'm glad my kid is such a voracious reader already! I also love that she can give a 60-pager her full attention for the duration. (That helps her later on, right?) We let her go to bed with books; sometimes I can't tell if she's awake because she's just quietly reading in her crib.

We just need to get back to the library so I can avoid going crazy reading the same books over and over!