Did I tell you we decided to stop looking for houses again? Deep down we knew the time wasn't right, but we were in a slight state of denial and had convinced ourselves that the time could be right...But it's not. It's really not. So we stopped again, and we are relieved in a sense and bummed in another. To deal, we decided to live in the house we are in now rather than continuing in this limbo-like state. See, we were procrastinating with getting Hannah's room set up properly and also with finding ways to incorporate (i.e., properly store and organize her toys) her stuff into the house. We kept telling ourselves there was no point in doing anything until we moved and were able to spread out a bit and figure things out, but that's just not true. We need to make this house functional and learn to live in the space we have. So we bought bunk beds!
We wrapped up my old queen sized bed which has been hogging up her room since before she was born, shoved it in the garage, and then set up some new This End Up bunk beds that we found on Craig's List with a dresser and book case for $475! I had never heard of that name brand, but it is SWEET! It's this gorgeous, solid wood furniture that weighs a butt load! Buh-bye creaky IKEA dresser that threatens to collapse no matter how many times Eric (and once Joel) hammer the daylights out of it. Buh-bye flimsy book case! (It should be noted that both of those pieces of furniture were also bought used on CL...but they were purchased all the way back in '06 when I moved into this house and were NOT built to last, obviously!)
I took a few before pics of Hannah's room to show the contrast, but I took the pics after I'd started pulling stuff out so they make her room look a little worse than it actually was...She liked playing on those bouncy seats, but I've got all that stuff packed away now!
"Before" shot of Hannah's room from the doorway.
"Before" shot taken standing on the bed.
"Before" shot taken from the window wall looking out the door and down the hall.
Okay, now for the transformation!! I love a good makeover, and I think Hannah's room got an awesome one!
But first, I want you to know that this is not my favorite model of bunk bed on the This End Up website because of the solid wood headboards and the ladder that juts out into the middle of the floor. I had a feeling it would look and feel heavy and would block critical light. It's not blocking the window too bad, but it's not ideal. It would definitely be better if we had this model with open slats on either end that double as a ladder. But we'd have paid three times as much if we'd bought it new, so solid headboards it is!!
"After" shot taken from the door.
The bunk beds! Hannah loves them.
"After" shot taken from the bunk beds.
Her sweet new book case. (Which has enough space to enable us to get rid of that toy trunk--which I've had since high school--and open up even more floor space.)
"After" shot taken from the window wall.
First snuggle up in the new beds!
It's like a whole new room in there, and it's WAY more functional! There's tons of floor space, her toys are organized on the shelves, her clothes are spread out in more drawers allowing for better organization and accessibility, and with the bunk beds centered on that wall, there's a couple feet on either end so that I can easily access the closet on one side and the window blinds on the other--a task that previously required crawling all over the queen bed.
More importantly, Hannah LOVES her new furniture. The second we got them set up and spread out the super sweet memory foam mattresses we picked up at IKEA, she was up the ladder and giving it a test jump. I ran for the video camera to capture her hysterical first impression:
She is not sleeping in them yet, and I'm not in a huge hurry for her to do so. Frankly, I kinda like her having bars around while she sleeps....It forces her to eventually give up playing and go to sleep, and I'm not sure she'll do that once she's trusted with the freedom to move around. I did let her try to nap in the bottom bunk on the first two days (at her insistence), and surprisingly, she stayed in bed. She didn't sleep though so after about an hour I moved her, kicking and screaming, to her crib. There's no rush...yet.
So, an awesome thing happened tonight: Hannah said "I love you" to me! I've been waiting for that sort of affirmation/positive feedback since the day her little embryo self laid down on my urethra making it impossible for me to pee no matter how much water I guzzled. The I-love-you thing started on Tuesday at gymnastics. Every class is ended with a round of Skinnamarink and for the first time ever, Hannah sang and signed along. Her favorite part is the end where it goes, "I love you, boo-boo-be-doo." She's been singing the song all week, but tonight at bed time is the first time ever that she looked at me, smiled big, and said "I love you" without any prompting or song singing. It was pretty awesome. I said it back and then we laughed a bunch and spent a terribly cheesy 5 minutes just saying I love you to each other and laughing. This might be my favorite of her firsts.
I just realized I never posted these two pics from Autumn's visit with us at the beginning of July....I've been terrible with blogging this summer probably because we've been spending most of our free time either looking at houses online or schlepping all over the greater Baltimore area to look at them in person. Exhausting. Frustrating. Un-fun. Yesterday we decided to give up for a while, mostly because Eric was beginning to realize that all of my reasons for wanting to wait to buy a house--like the fact that he could get transferred to another base in another year and a half--are actually pretty valid. As much as I'd love to have some green space and a floor plan that wasn't so much like a shoe box (long and narrow), it seems silly to move when we don't know for sure that Eric will get stationed here again. I was relieved after he called it off, but we didn't tell our Realtor so first thing this morning she sent us a bunch more listings, and Eric fell in love with a home in Reisterstown. I'm talking majorly in love. Totally smitten. Personally, I don't get it. I mean, it's a nice house and all, and yeah, yeah, yeah, it's got a pool and hot tub, but there's nothing that really stands out, you know? It's just so....mediocre. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sniffing at the awesomeness of a pool, it's just that I really love a historic home with character and this one is not that. There's no character. That and the neighborhood is total suburbia right off a main road that's lined for miles and miles and miles with strip mall after strip mall and in between, fast food joints and car lots. Boooooooring. We drove through the neighborhood this afternoon, and I am just not impressed. We've got an appointment to tour the house in the morning so we'll see if I change the tune I'm singing after that.
Speaking of moving, Autumn is leaving in less than a month to head to Dubai for a couple years, and I did not take nearly as many pictures as I should have while she was here. In fact, I really only broke out the camera twice. First to snap some pics of Hannah all dressed up in this belly dancing costume complete with shoes and headdress that Autumn picked up for her while gallivanting around Europe. Fun, huh?? Between Autumn and Amy, Hannah's dress up box is getting quite eclectic.
And the second time I broke out the camera was when we were heading out to dinner. This was the July 4th weekend when Eric was working 12 hour days. Autumn took Hannah and I to Goldenwest for dinner so I could spend nap time chatting rather than making dinner. Wohooo!
Sigh. I've got Amy traveling all summer, Laura living in the south, and Autumn heading to the Middle East for 2 years. I miss my favorite ladies.
I have a secret. I let Hannah have some ice cream a few weeks ago and I've been hiding it from you. My friend Jenn captured the evidence on her phone, and I promptly stashed it on my hard drive while debating whether or not to admit to this indulgence. In the end, I decided to post it for posterity because it will be fun to look back on someday and see a pic of her first ice cream cone at her second HonFest, but before you go getting all excited and thinking you can come gallivanting over here with trays full of cupcakes covered in frosting and sprinkles and all other such nonsense, please read the following:
1.) No, this does not mean that you can give her ice cream (or cookies or cake or any other sugar laden food with zerio nutritional content).
2.) No, this doesn't mean that I will be giving her (or myself) ice cream again anytime soon so don't think that I'm just keeping all the fun to myself because I'm not.
3.) This was a special occasion in that it was HonFest weekend and where there's a festival in Baltimore there's often a Taharka Brothers booth and I LOVE Taharka Brothers ice cream, especially their super amazing graham cracker flavor....yummmmmm. And we were leaving for vacation the next day so we were on vacation mode. And also, let the record also show that I have been off the sugar for a looooong time now. A seriously long time. (For health reasons, not by choice.) Such a long time that I was hell bent on getting graham cracker ice cream cone from Taharka even if it meant having to give Hannah a taste because eating it in front of her and not doing so would just be mean.
She liked it a little too much. So did I. So good.
More catching up on the blog! Grannah and Granpah came to visit the weekend after we got back from vacation and brought Hannah a super special present! A trike!! We took it to the zoo and rode it straight to the farm yard to pet the goats. I snapped as many pics as possible since I've been a big slacker on their previous visits.
Here's the trike! It's pretty rad. It's super versatile and has a removable push handle so that it operates like a stroller (great if you're in a hurry but they still want the novelty of riding a bike). It also has a removable 5-point harness and circular waist band thingy (you can see it in the pic) to keep younger kiddos safe while they learn to ride. You can also remove the shade thingy, cup holder, and trunk so that eventually, it's just a regular tricycle. Cool, huh? I love things that grow with the kids! You end up buying so much stuff and using it for such a short time...products like this make it so much easier to fork out the dough! Not that I forked out any dough in this case....
Hannah and I went to the gym yesterday morning, and when I returned to the kids room to pick her up, the first thing she did was show me her nails:
Ummmm...seriously??? WTF?? I feigned an "ohhh....pretty..." and contemplated making a scene but was too shocked to do anything. I mean, who does that?? Who just paints some random little toddler's nails while hanging out in a kids room, not to mention that this was the gym we don't normally go to so they really don't know me or Hannah. We could have strict religious beliefs or something and then what? Then they'd really be in trouble. As it turns out, we do not have strict religious beliefs at all unless you count an unwavering and borderline obsessive dedication to keeping my child free of toxins as a religion. I mean, I didn't use nail polish during my entire pregnancy because I was worried that inhaling the fumes would hurt the fetus or that the toxins would somehow seep through my nails and into my skin where they would eventually find their way into my uterus and cause Hannah to come out with three ears.
OKAY, maybe that's ridiculous. I'll give you that. But that's the point: I'm ridiculous and so are plenty of other parents so who in their right mind would decorate some kid they don't even know without getting permission? Obviously someone who did not think it was a big deal. I opted not to appear as wacko as I really am though I did consider asking to see the bottles of polish so I could determine just how toxic it was (like, if it chips off in her mouth, will she sprout that third ear?). Interestingly enough, when I got home, Eric wanted the answer to that very question and suggested I call there and ask what they put on her so we can figure out how quickly we need to remove it. I loved it that he reacted like that--a man after my own heart!
Luckily Whole Foods sells an all natural nail polish remover that does not have formaldehyde or any other poisons in it, and the lady working there handed me some cotton balls and suggested I just use the sample to remove it in the store so I didn't have to buy it. Whew!! Hannah's hands have been returned to their original child-like glory and will hopefully stay that way until she is much, much older.
Now, this is two posts in one because both are time sensitive. Hannah is 23 months today, and I just so happen to have a pic of myself at 23 months so I thought we'd do a little comparison.
I'm still very behind in my blogging but I had to put a pause on the catch up to do my Happy 4th of July and 23 months post. Next up is pics from our visit from Grannah and Granpah (or "Nampah" as Hannah has dubbed him) last weekend!
I'm catching up slowly on my posts...When we returned from vacation, Amy came to stay with us for a few days to get in some QT before heading off to Japan...then Ethiopia (I think??) and then Sweden...I'm exhausted just thinking about all that traveling!!
Amy laid down on the couch one morning (most mornings) after breakfast, and Hannah brought her some toys to snuggle with, a book, and a cup of water (which Amy spilled because Hannah neglected to say "Day Go!"--Here ya go). Then Hannah decided that all Amy really needed for a good nap was a snuggle.
After nap one afternoon Hannah and Amy settled in on the couch to play with Amy's iPad--one of Hannah's most favorite toys.
OH! And Hannah ended up with a pretty sweet souvenir from Amy's last trip to Japan: this summer outfit that the kids there wear and a cute little purse.
Time for part 2 of our vacation post: the family reunion. I wasn't as snap happy there as I was the rest of the week--and it was only one day instead of 4--so I don't have nearly as many pics, and those I do have aren't that great, so this will be considerably shorter than the previous post.
Before I start posting, I think I should mention that this is our 5th annual (consecutive) family reunion so woohoooo to us for starting it and keeping it going! The location moves each year, and we take turns hosting to evenly distribute the stress load. This year it was at my cousin Adam's which is about an hour from where we stayed in Ohiopyle.
This photo was taken moments before Eric cannon balled the crowd, soaking them all.
Clay thought these rings made my Aunt Pam's hair look prettier.
Hannah floated around on the floaty for a looong time, living the good life.
Adam manning the grill.
The cousins playing ball.
Hannah shoots hoops with the fam.
Highlight of Hannah's day: walking Winnie.
It was also one of Clay's favorite activities. They did a pretty good job of sharing.
Not sure what they're doing...playing with rocks? I just thought it was a cute photo op.
Uncle Chip pauses a game of home run derby to teach Hannah how to hit a ball.
Back in the pool! Everyone was in and out all day.
Hannah got used to Winnie 's constant barking and started to pet her gently while saying "shhhh" soothingly.
Clay loved standing in front of the fan. Hannah loved watching him stand in front of the fan.
I love being with my family and wish we motivated to get together more often, but once a year is better than not at all! We had a great day, and it was an awesome way to end an awesome week of vacation.