Friday, January 31, 2014

Sit and read for a bit

My book count for 2013 was down to 21, not quite on par with what I've been reading the past few years...but I'll have tons of time to read this year, right?  Does a newborn hanging around put a damper on that kind of thing?  I do most of my reading at night in that lovely quiet time between "ahhh, my face is clean and teeth are brushed and the animals are all snuggled up and quiet" and "I can no longer read the words without smacking myself in the face with my tablet because my eyes are so tired MUST go to sleep," and I'm guessing that "MUST go to sleep" part might hit me a little earlier than it has in the past.  Adventures to come!

At any rate, I'm already three books into 2014, none of which have been total crappers, so off to a good start.  But not time to chat about those yet, just some brief thoughts on 2013 books.  To start, epicness carryover from last year's Game of Thrones extravaganza in the form of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons - enter this world at your own risk, it's a ginormous commitment in terms of the sheer number of pages you need to make it through.  Moving on to others...

Loved, read immediately:

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

If you're into that whole "these books are actually intended for 'young adults' and skew fantasy world" kind of thing:

Divergent series by Veronica Roth (although the first book was my favorite and then I thought they got progressively more you really don't have to go down this path, but they're pretty quick reads)
I also reread the last two books of the Hunger Games trilogy again.  I had to.  The movie.

A little heavy/sad, but worth your time:

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman - this one got to the pregnant lady in me, and I think I cried
Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum - also good if you share my fascination with World War II era stories

Really interesting and confusing and also has some of that "history is cool!" thing going for it:

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

There were also some girly fluffy books in there, per usual, but nothing that you can't live without. And that's it!  Some not especially memorable books sprinkled in this year, or perhaps I'm already forgetting everything.  I can blame pregnancy brain, right?

I'm also considering all of these baby books "books in progress at all times," so I feel like you should know about them because it makes me feel like I'm reading all the time.  Maybe that's where my reading has gone - instead of books for me, I'm on babycenter learning what vernix is (GROSS, but extremely functional) and what I should and shouldn't be worrying about.*

What to Expect When You're Expecting - the standard, right? I like the weekly updates as baby keeps growing.
The Baby Name Wizard - Craig said he needed a book to figure out baby names, and we both really like the way this one is organized.  Narrowing it down...
YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy - it has cool pictures and explains all the craziness going on in my body and with baby.  And reminds me to eat my veggies.
The Happiest Baby on the Block - just started this one, but my co-worker who just came back from maternity leave pressed this into my hands and, with a hint of desperation and exhaustion, insisted that I read this BEFORE the baby comes.  I'm taking it seriously.

* Who am I kidding...I worry about everything.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A glimpse into the future

Last weekend we had some of my favorite visitors in town - Carrie, Jason, and Alan made the drive up from Houston to hang out with us for the weekend, which was a nice break from the painting extravaganza the weekend before.  I've always loved spending time with little Alan - he's just a sweet, fun kid and I love him to bits. And as a mommy-to-be of a little boy (boys! I need to brush up on dinosaur/Lego/truck/bug knowledge, I think), I think I got a glimpse into my future.  Let's just say if our little guy is anything like Alan, I probably need to learn more about trains.  Because trains are the most awesome thing ever.  So Craig did some strategic Googling and discovered that the Frisco Heritage Museum (who knew??) is the temporary home to interim exhibits for the Museum of the American Railroad (again, who knew?), and there's our Sunday afternoon.  Train time!!

We loaded up on homemade cinnamon rolls, spent some lazy time binging on HGTV and iPad time, and then made sure we loaded up on even more food at Platia so we had plenty of energy for the TRAINS.  After pretty much spending the morning eating, it was off to the trains.  And we had one excited little boy on our hands for the rest of the afternoon.

Trains are so awesome I love trains guys check me out on this train it's so cool!!  I love the enthusiasm.
Apparently I'm fascinated by trains, too, or at least when rivets and welding on the train combine to look with a face with a BACON SMILE.  Don't you think?!?
Tiny Alan. Ginormous train.  Happiness for a four year old.
Sweet, we even get to ring a train bell!
Now, I wouldn't exactly call the Frisco Heritage Museum the most spectacular museum I've ever been to. It's kinda tiny and adorable and doesn't have a whole lot going on, but it was perfect for some chill explorations on a beautiful weekend afternoon.  We spent a lot of time outside exploring the trains, but then inside we found a great treasure in one of the living rooms (styled for each decade!)...say hello to Duck Hunt.  The boys were thrilled.

Awww, father-son video game bonding time!
 Back out for one last train stop...

...and then our always-too-short weekend neared its end.  We also did plenty more eating and got in some quality playground time in the gorgeous weather (you're faking me out, Mother Nature - I know it's not spring yet) and played a round of Smash Up (thanks for the weirdly cool new game, sistah friend!) and just generally enjoyed friend time.  Yay for friend weekends!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fifty shades of every paint color ever

Even though we now have some small idea of what our little one is going to be like, we know we don't want a blue sports crazytown room, so it's time to commence the preliminary rounds of Baby Nursery Decisions!, which I'm going to officially name and treat like the Olympics.  Also, the Olympics start in thirteen days, and we all know how I feel about the Olympics, so we better get some of this nursery stuff knocked out so I can focus on curling.

The walls were a perfectly fine neutral tan sort of color, but I really didn't want out baby to have brownish walls.  Commence the color debate!  And actually, we both liked the idea of doing a yellow nursery (agreement, huzzah!), so the dad-to-be was off to Home Depot to clean them out of pretty much every yellow-ish paint sample that exists.  And then the narrowing process began...

The contenders get a spot on the wall for further consideration...
...while the rejects sit sadly to the side.  Sorry, rejects.
After much debate and overanalyzing (I'll let you guess who did most of that) and moving paint samples from wall to wall, we committed to getting samples of four colors and slapping them on the wall to see how we felt about them.  Ok, let's pick a yellow!

And we kinda picked a yellow.  But then, because why would we keep anything simple, we decided it would maybe also be a fantastic idea to put up a chair rail and do a DIFFERENT color under the chair rail and also put up crown molding and definitely make sure we have the right color for the ceiling, too. Aaaaaand here we go.  Yeeps.

Fortunately we were a little more decisive on the grey (or is it gray? Apparently I skew British on that one) for the bottom portion of the wall.  I mean, yes, we still taped up paint chips and overanalyzed and narrowed it down to four and threw some paint on the wall, but it just went a lot faster than the Yellow Debate. Besides, Harrison was helping with this decision.

Allllll the colors.  And a ceiling fan with no blades.  And miles of tape and acres of dropcloth put into place.  We're doing this thing.
Zach really isn't sure if any of this is a good idea.
All decisions in place, finally, and let the painting begin!  We debated hiring someone to do this, and after each of us put about twenty strokes into painting the ceiling, we thought that might have been a really really REALLY good idea. Have you ever painted a ceiling?  It's a giant pain - fortunately Craig will not be defeated by something like paint, and he powered through and did a dang good job on it.  You go, honey!

I taped up a fake chair rail to guide us, and we kept painting.  And painting.  And painting.  Lightening walls isn't ideal, because often you need juuuust that extra coat of paint to make sure it really looks good.  Yeeps.

You're making excellent progress, husband.
But the painting is done!!  Well...mostly.  We'll have to do a few touch-ups here and there, and the chair rail and crown molding still have to be painted to match the trim in the room, but the giant swooshes of rollers are all taken are of.  Gallons of sweet chamomile, lemon souffle, and gentle rain later.  And here's where we stand at the moment...

The yellow looks way brighter at night - I'm hoping it all mellows out a bit once we have the room pulled together.  Although it really doesn't matter, because this yellow is what it is.  We're committed.
Looking good!  We were even making really good progress on the chair rail until we got halfway around the room and realized that, even with measuring and using a level along the way, we managed to drift up about an inch from where we started.  And for the OCD anal person in me, that is most definitely NOT ok.  So on tap for this weekend - perfecting the chair rail.  And the crown molding.  And getting them puttied and caulked and painted.  And getting all the supplies out of the room and babying it up a bit.  That's probably a little optimistic for just one weekend, so I'll let you know how it goes.

I hope you like your room, baby - Mom and Dad are putting some sweat into this one.  And I love it.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

It's a...

Oh boy!!  Looks like I have a lot to learn in 2014. :) Bring on the all the little boy parenting tips - I think we're going to need them.  Actually, pretty much any general parenting tips are accepted, too - we have no idea what we're doing.  Which hit home yesterday when we tackled a first pass at registering for baby things.  There's  And I'm sure we don't need all of it.  But we'll learn as we go, right?

So excited for what this year will bring us!