Sunday, August 28, 2011

We Went on a Shelving Spree

Inspired by our finally-finished new laundry room, Jake and I were motivated to get all the shelves we've been wanting installed throughout the house.

First came the front coat closet. Previously, all it had was a coat rack with a shelf above it. And since I don't even own A coat, let alone many coats that would necessitate an entire rack, what am I gonna do with a coat rack? I knew this area was being under-utilized.

So we put an IKEA bookshelf in there, cut the coat rod in half, and reinstalled it (you never know if we'll have an especially chilly winter. Like in the 40's or something). I may have also painted the back wall to make it prettier. The bookshelf has more than enough room for our cleaning supplies and paper goods.

I also added a couple hooks on the wall for dusters & umbrellas. The leftover floor space holds the vacuum, and the upper shelf (which was untouched) holds lightbulbs, vacuum bags, and our indoor tool box.

Another great feature of the closet is the over-the-door shoe rack that holds all the stuff that you need but can never locate in your house (flashlights, extension cords, a level, febreze, etc). That's actually been there a while, and I got the idea from Jake's mom.

Our paper towels and TP used to be in our linen closet. But since they moved to their new home, our linen closet suddenly had room to hold all of our linens! So project #2 was adding more shelves here, and our towels and sheets can live comfortably together now, instead of crammed into one small space.

And finally, since we have the smallest 2-car garage in the history of garages, we (I with my ever-growing belly) couldn't get in and out of our van while it was parked in the garage. We needed to get rid of the shelving/work bench we had on the side of our garage. So Jake installed upper shelving to hold camping equipment and other garage-worthy items.

So now we're shelved as shelved can be. And very pleased with our new-found storage space.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sam's Cake Party

Instead of having a full-on birthday party for Sam this year, we just invited our families over for cake. I made 2 cakes for Sam to accommodate all of his in-town relatives, and they both turned out quite delicious.

Sam's cheeks full of air as he blows out his candles

Sam got some great gifts too. Cars cars (which, unfortunately, he opened first and wouldn't put them down while he opened the rest of his gifts), a dump truck, a Buzz Lightyear rocket (see his awesome expression when he opened it below), clothes, books, and a new car duvet to go on his bed when he transitions out of a crib.

We had a great day all day. I'm convinced Sam knew it was a special day for him. He was in a good mood, and he would just grin whenever we said "Happy Birthday" to him.

And today he either has to have all 3 of his new Cars cars with him or his Buzz Rocket. He's a happy camper though.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Laundry Room Makeover

I've always been frustrated with how big our laundry room was, but how really non-functional it was too. So after doing lots of space planning, and being inspired by this room, I finally decided it was time to do something about it.

I bought my paint a while ago, but painting a functioning laundry room is not an easy task. It involves painting a wall, moving large heavy items, painting, moving, etc. Lucky for us, we had a pipe burst in there about 2 weeks ago, which forced the contents of the entire room to evacuate, and we took full advantage of the situation.

I didn't take "before" pictures until the furniture moving process had already begun.

SEMI-BEFORE .............................. AFTER

View from the door

We removed our old (dumpster diving finds) metal shelves and replaced them with wall-mounted wooden shelves. These act as an extension of our super tiny kitchen pantry. We also painted and added a new rug.

The upper shelves that run across the whole room are all higher than 7 feet off the ground, and are for our longer-term food storage. Jake built all of these and he did an AMAZING job.

Washer & Dryer Area

We (Jake again) added some shelves above the washer for detergent and basket storage. I also made new charcoal & white curtains (that match the new rug)

View out the door
Here you can see our new drying rack and another view of the upper shelves. We also added an ironing board hook on this wall.

The only other thing planned for the room is a small chest freezer that will go next to the dryer.

Yay for completed projects!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sammy Boy

This is Sam.

Today he is 2.

And he knows it. He's been practicing his 2-year-old behaviors for about two weeks now, and he's got them down. My sweet, quiet, snuggly baby now has OPINIONS. And he lets you know about them LOUDLY.

His strongest opinion: Food should not break into 2 pieces (ie: crackers, sandwiches, etc.). Why? Because it is DEVASTATING. That's why.

Also, sisters should not take things from his hands.

Another 2-year-old behavior: His sweet "Nah" to say 'no' to something is now "NO!", and used a lot more frequently.

The good news, is that I can still see my sweet boy under all that two-year-old stuff. I can still get him to snuggle me, he still loves his nap and his blankets, and he loves to climb on my lap and read books. His current favorite is "Hey! Wake Up!" by Sandra Boynton.

He's also got a major obsession with cars. It started before we even had cars in our house for him to play with, and has only gotten more intense as the cars have come in. His favorites, of course, are the Cars cars. He can spot that merchandise anywhere - near or far, big or small - you can count on Sam to point out cars wherever we are. (Wait until you see what he gets for his birthday. I'm pretty sure that every single thing we got him has a car on it.)

So we will endure the 2 stage. Luckily, I've been told by my kid-twin* that it doesn't last very long, and that he'll come out of it better than ever.

So happy birthday little boy!
We sure do love you.

See Sam's birth story here.
See Sam turn 1 here & here.

* A kid-twin is someone who has children with identical personalities to yours, but like a year ahead of you. They're super convenient to have because you always know what to expect with your own crew. Sam's "terrible 2s" phase was forewarned to us months ago (although very hard to believe back then).

Friday, August 12, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Sophie was anxious and ready for her first day back in preschool. She's in the same school, same room, but with a new teacher. Luckily her bus driver was the same as last year, so getting to school was very familiar.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

INVENTING . . . a Duet!

Sophie says "inventing" instead of "presenting" when she has a big introduction to make. I'm pretty sure it's a combination of the words "introducing" and "presenting".

So without further ado, INNNNNNNNVENTING: A DUET!