Sunday, August 28, 2011

"C" is for Compulsive

It started in the garage and ended in the kitchen.  My OCD has completely taken over!  Before Tully was born we started reorganizing the garage.  We've been a little preoccupied since his birth, but this was still on my to-do list.  I asked my parents to watch Tully one Saturday while John and I got things in order.  It ended up that everyone in the family pitched in, and we traded shifts with one person inside with Tully.  The previous owners of our house installed these great shelves, so all we had to do was add the bins and put things in the right place.  The before pic below is really more like a half-way done pic, since we started this in March.  We were doing good to put things on the shelves, but the stuff on the floor had completely taken over, and John was having to park outside.   No bueno.  Also, take note of the pile of stuff on the black storage unit on the far left side.  Junk heaven.

The biggest disorganization pitfall in our entire garage was the black storage unit.  This is an old pic when it was cleaned off.  It looked nothing like this when we started clearing the garage.

This storage unit was left by the previous owners, though I wish they had taken it with them.  All we did was pile stuff on here.  There was about one foot of space for John to open his car door and walk to the house door.  So he would park as far away from possible from it, which meant he was halfway on my side of the garage.  I griped about this stupid black storage thing all the time.  So we decided we would give it away on Craigslist for free the weekend we tackled the garage.  We put it at the end of the driveway, and before I could even create the post, a kid rang my doorbell and asked if we were looking for someone to haul it off.  I told him he could take it.  Good riddance!

After adjusting the shelves (multiple times...don't even get me started) to fit everything we needed, the pic above was the final result.  The left side looks a little more chaotic than the right.  Everything on the shelves on the far left is for a future garage sale.  Since we don't need access to those items, I slid John's golf organizer in front of them to make more room along the wall to walk.  The golf stuff may need to eventually go back on the left wall though.  For now, I like the extra walking space.  We'll see.  We also managed to move all chemicals, hardware, and tools to middle/upper shelves, so anything Tully can access in his toddler years will be paper or plastic.  The most important thing is that we can fit both cars with PLENTY of room between them in the garage.  That is what the garage is for after all!

I may have gotten a little over ambitious with the label maker, but at least I'll know where everything is.

Also, I think I put this on a previous post, but I'm adding it here for good measure.  We have two bins (plastic tackle boxes) full of hardware, and I love how easy it is to find everything.  Here is a pic of one of the hardware bins.

Speaking of tackle boxes, I saw a battery storage idea on Pinterest, and knew I had to do this.  The box on Pinterest was deeper, but ours works even though most of the batteries have to lay down.

still label-making happy

Lastly, we move on to the kitchen.  I got this idea for pan organization on Pinterest as well.  Of course, John gets sucked into all of these projects with me.  He joined me on trips to Wal-Mart and Bed Bath and Beyond, so I could finish this one.  I don't have any before shots, but try to picture only the pots, pans and lids spread out (no nesting) throughout the entire cabinet.  After buying two types of pan storage organizers and a dish drying rack, I was able to add my baking tins.

ta da!
Here are better pics of the racks I used.

Top left (muffin tins): Bed Bath and Beyond Organizer Rack

Top Right and Bottom Left (baking tins, skillets): Rubbermaid #1H42 Pan Organizer
Neither of the above racks did a good job holding the lids for the pots and pans (the handles kept getting stuck), so we improvised and bought a dish drying rack at Bed Bath and Beyond.  They fit perfectly.  (You bet I'll be pinning THAT.)

I also moved things around in another cabinet and added a couple organizers.  This is how it turned out.

Pyrex baking dishes behind the mixer

If you notice in the top picture with the mixer, there's a colander folded up in the same rack with the cutting boards.  This is probably one of my most-used and favorite kitchen items.  It totally does the job of draining foods, fits in the sink on two legs, and folds up nice and tidy in my cabinet.  I did away with all of our bulky bowl-like colanders.  I bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Thanks for tuning in for my OCD post, and if you want an invite to Pinterest, let me know!  You can see my pins here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"C" is for Chelonian Part II

Zach is definitely the little scavenger--he put a present on our porch this morning.

Boy was he proud of his turtle!
Zoomed in--right by his foot.

My mom posted about his turtle friend at her house last week (story here), but this week he found a turtle in our back yard.

It was just a little one, and I'm pretty sure half of his shell is missing on the bottom.  Aren't they supposed to close up around their feet and head?  When Nanna got here this morning, Zach tried to bring it inside to show her his new prize.  Ew!!  Not in my house.

In any case, since Zach could easily get to his skin, so we told him to "leave it."  He sat right there by Mr. Turtle without touching it the rest of the morning.  But every time he goes outside, he tries to sniff it out.  I've notice he's been sidetracked with the bunny that lives under our play set and the squirrels along the fence and trees though.  Poor Zach has been running around the yard all day frantically sniffing for all three critters at the same time!

Friday, August 19, 2011

"C" is for Child (cont.)

4 months

Happy (very) belated 4 month birthday, sweet Tully Bear!

He checked out A-OK with the doc this month.  Here are his stats:

Weight - 15 lb 5.5 oz (62%, up from 53%)
Height - 26.5 in (92%, up from 74%)
Head - 16.38 in (34%, up from 29%)

So in summary he is growing like a weed and still has a bean head.  I am so happy and relieved that all of our supply issues are behind us: he is nursing like a champ.  Here are some other exciting things in Tully's life:

  • Rolling over front to back and back to front
  • Not sleeping through night (more on this later)
  • Scooting backwards several feet while on his belly, inchworm style
  • Grabbing EVERYTHING and promptly putting it in his mouth
  • Showing frustration when he can't get his hands on something
  • Pulling ZachZach's fur and ears
  • Starting to sit up unassisted
  • Smiling all the time
  • Laughing lots, especially when we hold him in the air airplane style and move him up and down like we're doing an arm work out

Last month Ms. Jordan took care of Tully during the day because I went back to work.  Ms. Jordan was a LIFESAVER!  Tully loved playing with her, and we were sad to see her go.  She set the nanny bar really high.  She helped out until we could find a long-term nanny, and now that school has started, Ms. Jordan is back at her full-time teaching job. We plan to do a date night, so she can come back to visit soon.

We miss you, Jordan!

My mom also helped out for a week until the full-time nanny (aka Nanna) could start work in August.  (Thanks, Grammy!)  So now Nanna is at work with us full-time, and I'm feeling pretty spoiled.  In addition to taking excellent care of Tully and playing with him all day, she sings to him, does our laundry, AND cooks!  Get out!!! Right?!  (I'm picking myself up off the floor now.)  We had this "wish list" when we interviewed nannies, and she has exceeded all of our expectations.  She's offered multiple times to do our grocery shopping and run errands, but John and I are continuing to take care of those things for now.  And even though I can hear her entertaining Tully upstairs, she still makes notes in our BabyConnect app, so I know what toys, books, and activities he likes or dislikes.  This is SUCH a relief.  We started the nanny hunt back in October, which was waaaay too soon, but I was freaking out this summer when the girl we selected quit/got fired (long story) three days before she was supposed to start.  I told myself over and over again that things would work themselves out, and thankfully they did.  We just had to wait for the right person!

Nanna even loves our fur baby, Zach.  We actually had one lady we interviewed tell us she wasn't interested in the job because "the dog was all over her and the baby."  Zach's worst offense is licking the baby, and he immediately looks at us with apologetic puppy-dog eyes every time he does it.  It's like he KNOWS he's not supposed to lick, but he just can't contain himself.  In any case, I would never allow Zach to be "all over" anyone.  Who do these people think they are accusing my dog of these heinous offenses?  If we're FB friends, you may recall the neighborhood self-appointed dog patrol lady accusing Zach of being a duck killer.  More recently, she yelled at another couple for letting their dogs chase the ducks.  One dog was named Taco and was about the size of my shoe.  Pretty sure he's not effecting (affecting? ugh I can never remember and do not feel like Googling this) the duck population.  But I digress...being a dog lover was on our nanny wish list, and not only does Nanna love dogs, she works with a nearby rescue.  Win-win, as Zach was a rescue too.

I mentioned Tully stopped sleeping through the night.  Oh sleep, how I miss thee.  At only a few weeks old we were able to easily get 5 and 6 hour stretches of sleep out of Tully.  We even got to a point where we knew he would stay down for the night and could relax.  Not so much any more.  Since the three month mark, sleep has been hit or miss.  Mostly miss.  Three month growth spurt? Traveling? Four month sleep regression? I'm almost to the point I don't know or care what the reason is.  All I know is I'm severely sleep deprived.  I know it comes with the territory, and sadly my body has adjusted to waking at odd hours of the night with Tully up shortly thereafter.  At least I know my baby, right?  I will appreciate when he starts sleeping better though, and I'm sure John will be happy when I'm not Ms. Crabby Pants due to complete. total. utter. exhaustion.

Other four month highlights include Tully's first airplane ride and the Houston Tour de Tully.  We traveled to Houston my work, stopping in Dallas for layovers, and then visited friends in the Houston-area over the weekend.  It was great to see everyone BTW, and congrats on the house, ZandA!  In addition to meeting friends, Tully also got to meet several of my co-workers.  They even made an official name tag for him at the meeting.

Back to to the plane rides--Tully fussed a little before takeoffs but NEVER cried.  What a relief!  If you weren't in the row beside us, you probably wouldn't have even known there was a baby on the plane.  I nursed Tully during takeoffs and landings, and he didn't seem to have any problems with his ears.  We even made it through a 30+ minute delay on the runway with minimal noise.  I can't say the same for the kid (1 y.o.?) behind us who SCREAMED for the better part of the plane delay and ride.  The water bottle and straw the mom offered just wasn't cutting it for the upset kiddo, and both mom and baby ended up in tears.  So sad.  August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, so I've seen a few articles here and there about mothers who were "harassed" or made to feel embarrassed for breastfeeding in public and specifically in airports/on airplanes.  Now don't get me wrong, I do my best to be modest, but nursing a fussy (and sweaty?) baby under a cover isn't always an option.  I wore my best "nursing-friendly" clothes, so it wasn't like a strip show every time I tried to feed him.  Thankfully no one seemed offended when I nursed Tully throughout our plane rides, and hopefully they realized they could have had TWO screaming kids on the plane, had we not nursed the entire time.  I also made it through security without any hassling from TSA regarding my cooler full of milk.  I didn't know what to expect with this being my first work trip, so I wanted to make sure John had plenty of ammo in the fridge, but I was nervous that TSA would try to take it away.  It turned out I could run upstairs in the hotel to nurse on breaks, so we came home with a lot of milk too.  We accidentally left it in the car overnight, so I had to dump about 20 ounces of precious liquid gold down the drain.  Tear.   But I'm OK with it.  There's plenty more frozen should we need it.

So anyway, I'll step off of my breastfeeding soapbox and leave you with a sweet pic of John and Tully at bath time.  In addition to being an expert diaper changer, John is in charge of bath time each night.

Look at Tully's old man hair style!  I love it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

"C" is for Chelonian

che·lo·ni·an [ki-loh-nee-uh n]
a turtle

My parents kept our dog, Zachry, while we were in Houston this past week.  They live in the country, so Zach's always out scavenging, and he loves to run and play on their acreage.  My mom posted a fun story on his adventures with a Mr. Turtle here.  Check it out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"C" is for Cosmetics

I mentioned that Katie wrote stories on the contents of her purse and and cosmetic drawer in my previous post.  I thought it was really interesting to see, so here's a sneak peek into my makeup bag.

I love my Mary Kay foundation: coverage when I need it but doesn't look like caked-on makeup.  Studio Gear isn't my favorite concealer or powder, but I'm trying to use it up before I go back to my Mary Kay staples.  I think the concealer makes my mascara run.  (If that's possible.)  I do like the Studio Gear brushes though.  A+ for those.  I despise my mascara.  Merle Norman changed the formula and brush this year, and I cannot figure out why I continue to use it.  It's smudgy and smeary after only a few hours of wear, and it doesn't lengthen or plump any more.  In any case, I need a new mascara recommendation.  Criteria: thickening, lengthening, prefer non-waterproof, NO flaking, NO smudging. 

What do you use to "put your face on" every day?

Monday, August 8, 2011

"C" is for Carryall

I've been lacking blog motivation lately, but my bloggy friend, Katie, did a couple posts this past week that totally cracked me up.  First she did Take a Look Inside My Bag.  Next was her makeup drawer.  I loved seeing what she had, so here's my purse! 

From top to bottom, left to right (sorta):
  • fuzzy bee book
  • diapers
  • sling
  • boudreaux's butt paste
  • hand sanitizer
  • my wallet
  • extra romper
  • sunglasses
  • pencil
  • peppermint wrapper
  • old grocery list
  • wipes
 Tully 6.  Ashley 6.  Pretty bad that the peppermint wrapper and old grocery list have to count to even things out.  Can you tell I'm a mom?!  At least I didn't have four pairs of glasses like Katie did.  I do love my aviators though.

So what's in your bag?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"C" is for Coupon

Shutterfly is doing a promotion through August where you get a $10 coupon when you share your project on your blog.  (Limit one coupon per person.)  Even though I already got my coupon for posting his photo book, I figured I would post the birth announcement I did a few months ago too.  We took this "special delivery" photo of Tully, and Shutterfly had the perfect postage-themed announcement.  It took about 10 minutes to put this together, proof, and order.  Quick and easy!  They even had the option to address and mail the announcements to my friends and family, but it was easier for me to print labels from my address book.  It took a little extra postage, but I loved these square announcements!
Special Delivery Blue Birth Announcement
Turn your favorite photo into a birth announcement.
View the entire collection of cards.

"C" is for Capture

I've been on a hiatus from blogging because I've been busy working on this photo book for Tully. Shutterfly sent me a coupon for a free 8x8 hardcover book, and I knew this would make a great gift for family. I ordered one for myself too. We've captured a lot of special memories over these past few months, and I can't wait for the book to arrive!

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