Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peek a boo

Video Update: Audrey is cute as hell. You already knew that, though.

Here she is playing peek a boo at dinner the other night. She's been doing this for a while but this is the first time I've gotten a good video of it. I love how she feeds off our encouragement, she just eats up the attention!
I am working on uploading a new batch of videos to youtube so if you get bored, watch Audrey being cute!
http://www.youtube.com/user/Earnold14/videos

xo

Monday, December 12, 2011

Favorite Toys at 14 Months

As Audrey gets more and more into specific toys, she has started to gravitate towards a few favorites. This is kind of a new thing, because she used to just play with whatever was there. I think its really interesting to notice which are her favorites and speculate why she likes them.

1. Her favorite thing is still books. She loves them. They are the first thing she goes for when she walks into the playroom. She usually starts by taking them off of the bookshelf and digging around for the books she loves. She has a few favorites that she would be happy reading over and over again, mostly books with pictures of other babies or real life animals. I love watching her while she "reads" them. She brings books to me to read to her, but we only get about halfway through it before she is off again looking for a different book.



2. My BarnYard Friends - This was a gift from a friend, and Audrey actually has two of them. One has farm animals and one has pet animals. We keep one in the diaper bag and one in the house and they are her absolute favorite toys. She loves opening the house up and putting all of the animals in and taking them out or dumping them all out together. Each animal makes sounds if you squeeze them and we try to imitate the sounds together. She likes to take each animal and hand it to me to name, then I line them all up one by one and she just keeps picking them up and handing them to me. She waits for me to say what it is. So cute. Lately she has figured out how to line them up herself, too.


3. Shape Sorter - This was a gift from Lexi for Audrey's birthday. Audrey doesn't yet even attempt to put the blocks through the holes, she just entertains herself by putting them in the top and dumping them out. I follow her around picking them all up and putting them back into the box, then she immediately runs over and dumps them out again. Fun?!

4. Picnic Basket - This was another birthday gift and I was really surprised when Audrey started playing with it. She doesn't really play with her other electronic toys much very much so I guess I expected the same from this one. Like the two toys I already mentioned, her favorite thing to do is put them in and take them out. She also pretends to eat the food and drink from the cup. She prefers to do this one alone, though (odd?) and usually walks away if I try to join her for a picnic. Whatever, fickle little thing.

5. Bath Stacking Cups - I pulled these out when we moved into the new house and I didn't think Audrey would be interested. Maybe I thought it was too simple? Of course she surprised me and every time we go into the bathroom now she goes right for the stacking cups. These toys came in handy at the perfect time, too. She had been fighting bath time for a couple of weeks and would cry and try to climb out of the tub. Now she plays quietly and works intently on fitting the cups into each other. Always surprising me!

She is just now starting to get in to the puzzles she got for her birthday. Her favorite is the colors and shapes one - I assume because it has big knobs and the shapes are easier to identify. She gets so proud every time she successfully gets a piece into the puzzle!



But even with all of these toys, Audrey's absolute favorite thing in the world is:


Sticks. And rocks. And leaves. And dirt. Thus, we spend a lot of time outside. Hey, free entertainment right?!



Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Playroom

Our next big project is just about complete! This was a big one.

Josh has been laboring away working on Audrey's playroom. This is the smaller of the downstairs bedrooms. It is next to the bathroom, in the back corner of the house. We chose this room because we can see directly into the room from the living room. Perfect since Audrey is old enough to play independently now and we can continue doing what we want, but are still able to watch over her from a distance. The room was in pretty bad shape when we moved in. Like the other rooms, the carpeting in here was disgusting and was immediately removed when we took ownership. There was some ugly brown vinyl flooring under the carpet that wasn't too bad, and we could have cleaned it well enough, but we decided it had to go, too. In addition to the furniture and other random junk the previous owners left in here, there were also a bunch of random wires hanging out of the wall that seemed very questionable.


I can't remember if I have mentioned this before on here, but when our inspector did his inspection on the house, he was checking out the roof and his foot fell through it. There was a corner of the roof that wasn't installed properly and had rotted out. So when his foot fell through obviously it left a big hole and the owners weren't about to fix it, so the hole just sat wide open for the next month until we closed on the house and got our roofer out here to fix it. We had lots of rain in that month and the rain poured through the hole and into the walls on the back of the house. Once we got the roof fixed we tore down the drywall on the back walls (because they were visibly wet) and discovered that there was mold growing. Luckily these beams hadn't rotted yet so all we had to do was treat the mold so it wouldn't return. That left us with bare open walls and ceilings though! Good thing Josh is super handy.

This room actually sat destroyed and in ruins for about a month and a half while we worked on other things - while the bathroom was being built, while we were settling in, while we were doing Audrey's birthday stuff, etc. Josh didn't have the time to devote to it, but when we decided to host Thanksgiving at our house, we made finishing this room a priority.


He hung the drywall on 3 walls and the ceiling in here, then together we mudded it up, sanded, mudded, sanded, then finally painted (ok, Josh did most of that, I pretended to help but mostly walked around complaining about getting dirty). Once the painting was done, Josh put up the crown molding and installed the laminate floors. We had all of this done by Thanksgiving. Actually, he finished it Thanksgiving morning. He's amazing. He did the baseboards Saturday morning. We still have to find a new door (we are thinking of getting a half door), get new windows, new light fixture, paint the closet, decorate, get some functional shelving, and possibly put up trim around the windows and doors. The issue there is that the window and door frames are metal and can't be nailed, so we're looking into finding a way around that. But for now - Audrey has a playroom!! Her toys are not in the living room! I'll be honest - even though I wanted a playroom, I thought for sure that she would just go in there and drag a toy out to the living room and that eventually they'd all be sitting in the living room like they were before. Or that she'd play in there for a minute and then realize she couldn't see us and come running out whining right away. But this is not the case so far! She actually goes in there and plays quietly with her stuff and occasionally comes out with a book for us to read together. She's so sweet. She loves her playroom, and we love the space we now have in our living area.





Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thanksgiving and catching up

I haven't posted much family stuff or Audrey stuff on here recently. Lets change that!

Two weeks ago Audrey and I headed down south to Virginia Beach for my cousin's son's 2nd birthday. Zach is such a sweet heart and Sarah put on a great party for him! The theme was trains and Sarah made these awesome conductor party favors for the little ones. Audrey had fun and was being generally cute along with the other little ones (they were each a year apart!). She loved all of the food that Sarah made, and the cake was so delicious that she even insisted on stealing the birthday boy's last bite right off his plate! Rude! Luckily I had a small piece that I quickly dropped on his plate to avoid catastrophe.


Our Thanksgiving this year was rather interesting. We decided about a month ago that we would host our families and cook and the whole nine yards. I even bought fancy tablecloths and cloth napkins (that never even got ironed). I bought a ton of food and found the yummiest recipes. And then Audrey started coughing. The cough started about a week before Thanksgiving and we didn't think much of it until she got a low-grade fever Monday night.  We gave her some Tylenol and the fever came down and we all went about our days, but that cough kept getting worse. Wednesday I decided to see the doctor and was very surprised to discover that she had RSV, bronchiolitis, and a double ear infection. Apparently RSV is pretty serious so I felt terrible for not having taken her in sooner, but of course my happy girl never acted sick once! She is always so energetic and generally even tempered so I know that if she is overly fussy or whiny then something is probably wrong. Of course, she WAS fussy and whiny all weekend, but I attributed that (and the fever, and the coughing, and the runny nose) to the fact that she has two molars and two eye teeth cutting through right now and those are her usual symptoms for teething.

We left the doctor's office with a nebulizer and a prescription for her ear infections. The doctor says that this ear infection was likely caused by the other infections going on in her body and therefore it does not count towards her total number for the year (we are tallying to keep track when/if we decide to get tubes). Audrey really fought me the first two times we did the nebulizer, but she calmed down for Josh and took it well. We went back on Friday for a follow up and she is done with the nebulizer and her ear infection meds now.

Thanksgiving day was particularly interesting. Wednesday night I called everyone to inform them that Audrey was sick and although it wasn't serious for older kids or adults, it was an issue with Cristina due to her being prone to respiratory infections. We didn't want to get anyone sick, so we all agreed that we would cook the food at our house and then send it back to Dad's where everyone could eat together. So Wednesday night I kind of gave up on Thanksgiving and didn't do all the things I was supposed to do (clean, iron, prepare the food). Josh and I got up Thursday morning and puttered around the house in no real hurry. He finished working on Audrey's playroom and I dealt with Audrey and tried to get started on some food. Dad came over around 11 am and I informed him that I hadn't started ANYTHING. How's that for time management? Then Josh went out to fire up the turkey frier, only to discover that it had a hole in it. Uh-oh. How will we cook a 20 lb turkey for people in 3 hours? Well, luckily these two men happen to be stars in the kitchen and they got it done! They cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner in 3 hours! Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole. Yum! Most of the family came by for a little while just to see the house and say hello while they were still cooking. After everyone left, the three of us sat down and enjoyed some Thanksgiving dinner and rested for the rest of the day. It was a crazy day, but fun. Definitely an interesting story for our first Thanksgiving.

We have been spending so much time outside lately with all this beautiful weather we've had. We love our house, but I think we love our yard more. We inherited a wood stove with the house and Josh and Dad set it up out back to be a make shift (redneck) fire pit. It is actually pretty nice and we have enjoyed sitting out there in the evenings and chatting. Josh has taken well to the yard duties, Josie gets a ton of exercise, and Audrey's favorite activity is being outside finding rocks and leaves. I love all three of those things!


 







More updates to come soon!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Upgrade

The last time I upgraded my phone it was 2006. Back then it was cool if you had a keyboard, and very cool if it could play music. I've resisted upgrading because everything now is a smart phone and requires a data package which costs money. You know how cheap I am. Very cheap. I couldn't really justify spending $30 per month for internet on my phone when I am already on the internet all day at work and I already pay to have internet on my laptop at home. That's a lot of internet and who needs that much access?? Well, I broke down. This weekend Audrey and I drove to Virginia Beach for our cousin Zach's birthday and I decided to pull off on an exit when we hit traffic so we could grab lunch. Thirty minutes later I had a screaming baby, didn't know how to get back to the highway, and still hadn't found a place to eat. Then it hit me. Josh was right (he always is). I need a smart phone. I need the GPS. Ok, I don't NEED it, but it would surely make life a little bit easier. 


So on Wednesday I ordered my iPhone4 from Verizon and went on Amazon and snagged the best rated case I could find (for $25 cheaper than Verizon was selling it, too!). This case is maximum baby proofed. At least that's what I hope because the phone feels super delicate. The camera is so awesome. It takes really good and clear pictures and has a bunch of editing features to make the picture look all cool and artsy. See what I mean?

So one of the best things is that I can update my blog straight from my phone. That means maybe more posting! Or maybe not because I'm still not sure how much I will feel like typing on that small keyboard. But at least I can just upload pictures straight from my phone now! And who doesn't want more pictures?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All Done!

Oh, my sweet baby girl. She is so smart!

We do baby sign language with her, but not consistently other than a few specific signs. We always do "more" and now she signs more throughout dinner when she wants more on her plate, and this has also been her sign for when she is hungry. In the mornings she hangs out with Josh in the kitchen while I shower, and it is so cute when she walks around tapping her fingers together to say that she is hungry (umm...maybe that is not as cute as it is sad that she has to tell us she's hungry...). We also do "milk" and "drink" a lot, but she doesn't do that sign back to us probably because it is confusing to have different words for the same thing. Anyways....

Another sign we consistently do is "all done". Are you seeing a theme here? These are all meal time signs. It is so frustrating at meal time to not know why exactly she is fussing or kicking or whining. It has gotten easier since she started signing back to us. She started doing her version of "all done" just a few days ago, but she's actually been saying the words for a couple of weeks. I would say "Audrey are you all done or do you want more?" and do those signs while speaking, and she would say which she wants. The way she says all done is so cute. Her version of the sign is to throw her arms up in the air and say "Ah! Duhhh". She did this while Josh and I were talking over dinner the other night and I almost didn't catch it because I'm so used to asking her first. But luckily I DID catch it and I almost jumped out of my seat out of excitement! Since then she has done it at every meal! Now its been about a week and she doesn't do the sign as much as she just says, "Ah! Duhh!" when she's finished. Then we clean her up and she gets down! Such a big girl!

Another new thing is that I am waiting for her to come to the table at dinner time, as opposed to walking to her and scooping her up and putting her in the high chair. I ask her if she is hungry and is ready to eat, and she runs over to her high chair and puts her arms up! I love it. She is becoming so independent, and more every day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Bathroom

This post is long overdue. The bathroom was completed before we moved into the new house, which was about a month ago. Originally, we were going to DIY the bathroom. Rather, Josh was going to DIY it. That plan was scrapped pretty quickly when we realized that we just simply did not have the time to do it ourselves since we wanted to move by a certain date. So we turned to our very good friend Paul to do the bathroom for us. As you can see from the before photo, the bathroom wasn't THAT bad at first glance. That's actually a common theme with this new house. At first glance its pretty decent! But upon closer inspection, lots and lots of issues come up.



A few of those issues:
1. The bathroom door opened the wrong way. The toilet is on the right of the bathroom when you walk in, but the door latched on the left and swung to the right. So when you swung the door open, it hit the toilet, plus it couldn't open all the way. Why would someone put the door on backwards? Well, that leads us to..
2. The light switch was on the left wall. So if we rebuilt the door frame to open to the left, you would have to walk in and close the door before you could turn on the light.
3. The pipes were leaking and needed to be replaced in the bathtub. The shower never actually turned all the way off, it was always dripping. The tub was also gross and dingy. The toilet needed to be replaced. I will spare you that photo.
4. Nothing matched. The walls were had a very odd spongy thing going on, some fixtures were a gold color, some were chrome colored. Plus there was wood. We are not fans of wood in the bathroom.
5. The tile work was sloppy. Stuff didn't match, didn't line up right, bad grout, just sloppy work. Plus, we didn't really care for the design and style of it all. Removing tile is hard work, and we figured if we are doing that, we might as well bring the walls down to the beams and start fresh. But then when the walls came down, we noticed...
6. The beams had mold. A few beams were even rotting.
YES I know I need to iron the shower curtain.

Those were the biggest issues with the bathroom, but there were a few other not so big things. Luckily, they were all able to be corrected once we got the walls out. Paul replaced the rotting beams and treated the moldy ones. We had our electrician rewire the bathroom and put the light switch on the right side of the wall. Paul rebuilt the door frame so it swings to the left and can open all the way. Woohoo! Josh picked out some very pretty dark colored fixtures, and they chose some gorgeous earth toned glass tiles to line the shower. We chose a smaller vanity so that we could have more space in the bathroom. We have less storage, but more space on the floor for when we are giving Audrey a bath. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS. It is so much better being able to have almost the entire length of the tub and not bumping into anything while I am sitting on the floor while she bathes. Er...when Josh is sitting on the floor. haha. He's on bath duty usually.

The boys picked a light colored tile for the floor and shower so I think the dark fixtures and glass tiles really compliment that tile and none of them steal the show. I picked out the dark paint and I love the clean look of it against the very white trim. I found some good deals at Home Goods on a shower curtain and towels and I think they all look great together! Every time I walk into my bathroom I feel happy and warm and cozy.
Please excuse the missing towels. In the laundry!

The only thing left to do in here is frost the window. Josh insists that it's fine how it is, but I hate it. Every time I take a shower I feel like there are major creepies that could be watching! Frosting a window is pretty straight forward and simple, and I can get the materials at Home Depot for around $20. Hopefully by the weekend I will have this done.

There you have it. The bathroom. In the past two weeks we have painted the living room, Josh installed trim on three windows and the sliding glass door (and painted it all), painted the kitchen, painted the hallway, and started work on the playroom. Those posts will hopefully be coming soon.

Here's Audrey just because she's cute.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Save The Date

May 12, 2012. Our wedding. Be There.

Consider yourself warned. It would be nice to send out one of those fancy magnets with a super cute and clever photo of Joshua and I doing something adorable, but that's just not going to happen. Sorry about that.

So that's what we know. 5/12/2012 up here in Northern Virginia. More details to come. Maybe.

I don't have any recent pictures of Josh and I together to post here, so instead I leave you with a photo of the most handsome living room painter there ever was.
xo

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dear Audrey Falcon

Last night I went to bed early and laid with Audrey while I watched a bit of tv before sleep. I saw this commercial that made me cry, but also inspired me.

Tell me that does not make you cry. Seriously. And how cute is that little baby?! Anyways, I decided to copy the idea (as I do with most ideas I like), so today I started Audrey an email address and wrote her my first email. It was cheesy. It was lame. I hope one day she doesn't think it is cheesy and lame (even though it truly was). It is hard not to get all gushy and sappy. I'm a sensitive mama, ok?? I hope the internet and google and email are still around in 20 years so she can read the letters I write. I hope that with her own private email address, I can be a bit more candid and open than I am on the blog, which is public for anyone to read.

So for anyone that would like to write Audrey a letter (assuming you know Audrey, of course), you can send it to Dear.Audrey.Falcon@gmail.com. I promise not to open and read any emails. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween

Halloween was kind of anticlimactic for us this year. In the past, Josh and I have enjoyed doing couple's costumes. We were a cop and an inmate in '06, Sonny and Cher in '07, two of the Village People in '09, Popeye and Olive Oyle and Sweet Pea in '10, and I cannot for the life of me remember what we were in 2008. Anyways, this year we were very excited to be Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinkerbell. My mom made Audrey's Tinkerbell costume and it turned out fabulous!! I am so happy with it. I made her wings out of a hanger and a pair of tights.


Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Josh and I in our costumes. That's because we never even put them on. We had a Halloween party to attend last week and I scrambled around to find a blue nightgown for my Wendy costume, but Josh ended up getting stuck at work until 8:30 that night so Audrey and I went to the party without him. And there was no way I was dressing in a nightgown without him dressed in tights and a short dress. Without Peter Pan, no one knows who Wendy is. So I thought, "No big deal, we'll all dress up for trick or treating at the mall". Except that never happened. Audrey goes to sleep at 7pm sharp every night and if we are even a few minutes late, she's screaming her head off and cranky as hell, so I decided it would just be best to stay home and hand out candy. If she were old enough to actually eat the candy, I would have made it a priority to take her out, but this year I felt I could skip it without feeling guilty. So that's the story of how Josh and I missed our Peter Pan themed Halloween costumes. :(


Saturday I took Audrey to the Air and Space Museum's "Air and Scare". There were lots of trick or treaters and lots of candy, but not much entertainment for the littlest ones. We met Dad and Lisa and Matthew and  Cristina there and they were having tons of fun! Audrey just enjoyed running around looking at the benches and being carried around like a queen.
Looking at sticks with Papi

Ohhh a bench to hold on to!

Pretty Cristina


Captain America and a Jawa with the Star Wars guys

Audrey and grandpa

video
Happy November!