Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kitchen Renovation Part I

This renovation has taken forever. Well, not really, more like a month, Which is forever when it’s your kitchen people. And it’s still not done. I’m so ready for the contractors and painter to be out of my house!

So here is to introducing you to our kitchen/breakfast nook/sunken sitting room. Sunshine threw up in there when we first bought the house. No joke. The yellow was blinding. (like that?) Unfortunately, you aren't going to get the full yellow effect since we didn't take pictures until part of the walls were already painted in the nook/sunken sitting room.

Hadleigh is somewhere in 4 of these pictures - let's play "Where's Hadleigh" :)

 <-- Looking from the kitchen
into the nook & sunken

Looking from foyer
into the nook & sunken room -->
hi Hadleigh!

<--Hallway by sunken room looking towards kitchen 
see Hadleigh's head?
notice the ugly hallway light...the upgrade is awesome - stay tuned!

Sunken Sitting Room -->

<-- Nook

Kitchen from Nook -->
Check out those tile floors, and the island lights, and the light by the back door, oh, and the light above the sink! lots to change!

<-- Kitchen from Stove
We don't use the "desk" portion of the kitchen, so here is where we are enclosing the microwave to make it look like it's built-in.  All that free space under the drawers, will soon be a pull out trash & recycling

Kitchen from sink -->
Hey top of Hadleigh's head!
Our built-in hutch which we have no clue how we are going to fill and decorate!

<-- Kitchen from Fridge
heeeyyy Had!
Check out the gold hardware!

  • Paint sunken room & nook gray
  • Paint kitchen walls red
  • New tile in kitchen
  • Paint kitchen cabinets white again (they're currently glossy and horrible)
  • Get new light fixtures for hallways, above the sink, and over the island
  • New Hardware for cabinets
  • Build cabinets beside fridge for a slide-out drawer trashcan & recycle
  • Decorative adds above cabinets
  • Wall-Art
  • Incorporate a chalkboard somewhere
  • TV for sunken room
  • Couch & Chair & side-table for sunken room
  • Bar/buffet for sunken room
  • Rug for sunken room
  • Art work/ decorative for nook & sunken room
  • Corner Cabinet for nook
  • New stools for kitchen
  • Paint current black stools red and put them in nook for the other part of the counter

Lots lots to do! Stay tuned for updates!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snow Day!!

We've been back and forth between Winter & Spring it’s insane.  Can Mother Nature figure out what the hell she wants to do?!  I’d be fine skipping right over winter. Well, until there’s actually snow on the ground and then it’s fun for the kids.

It didn't snow a lot, but enough to get Hadleigh out there to play in and build some snowmen.  She was very proud of her work and was super excited to tell me all about it when I got home from work. Yep. You read that right. I was at work. Another mommy guilt episode and thinking work really sucks. A lot.  It was pretty much the first time Hadleigh got to really enjoy the snow I don’t think we got any last year and before that she was too young.

But Hadleigh had fun. And that’s what matters. And I have pictures to prove it.  Daddy, Nene, and Baba were there to play with her and help her build her snowmen family. 

Hayden lovin the snow cant you tell?
puddle fun 

pretty day 

So proud

Snow last week and 75 degrees today, really?!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Daily Schedules

Just a preview into our daily schedules:  And how crazy they are!!

Monday  Friday Schedule

5:30am - Alarm goes off for me.  I shower, get ready, wash dishes, make bottles, make lunches, make chocolate milk for Hadleigh when she wakes up, make coffee
6:45am - Wake Hadleigh up (on days she has school) She is NOT a morning person, so this can take a while.  I change her diaper and get her dressed and let her lay with daddy or watch TV.
7am - Wake Hayden up to eat and change her diaper. Some days I'll change her into her clothes for the day, but other days I keep her in her jammies.  Nene will dress her for me :)
7:30am - I get ready to walk out the door - make coffee & bagel to go and get all my bags together.  Daniel and Hayden get out of bed and hang out for Nene to come. Drop Hadleigh off at daycare and head to work.
10am - I pump at work.  Hayden gets a bottle at home.
11:30am - Hadleigh eats lunch and then settles down to rest until about 2:30pm (daycare schedule).  Most days she does not nap. Which is fine cause she's easier to put to bed, but the trade-off is potentially more tantrums at night for us cause she is tired.
1:30pm - Pump again at work.  Hayden gets a bottle and some cereal to eat.
4pm - Daniel picks Hadleigh up from daycare, they come home, and Nene leaves for the day shortly after.  Daniel entertains girls until I get home.
5:15pm - I'm usually home give or take a few minutes.
5:30pm - Hayden usually starts rooting and whining for me to feed her - she's missed her mama!
We then hang out for a bit - play - watch some tv and relax
6-6:30pm - I make dinner while Daniel plays with the girls and keeps them entertained with a snack, getting juice...etc.
6:30-7pm - We eat.  Daniel or I feed Hayden her dinner which is either a vegetable or fruit.
7:30pm - Daniel and I give the girls their bath (this occurs every other night).  They get into their pjs and we wind down.
8:30pm - Hayden is usually ready for bed now so I feed her and we cuddle until she's asleep.
9pm - About the time Hadleigh will go to bed on a school night.  We aren't strict on the nights where she doesn't have school the next day.  Especially if she has napped that day - she's impossible to put to sleep.
10-10:30pm - I'm usually ready to go to sleep.  If Hadleigh is still up I take her with me to bed or all 3 of us will go to bed.  Daniel sometime stays up to work or watch a little bit of TV.
Then our day starts all over again!!

Saturday & Sunday Schedule
It's a lot more laid back!  
 8-9am - We roll out of bed.  The girls sleep in on the weekends until then, so it's good.  I'm usually up around 8, but some days I make it to 8:45 :)  I don't usually pump on the weekends unless Hayden doesn't eat much in the morning.  Then I'll have to pump once to relieve some of the milk build up.  Other than that she nurses whenever she's hungry.  Hadleigh's not a big breakfast eater ever, so we give her nutritional chocolate milk (breakfast essentials) and she's good to go until she wants a snack before lunch.
11:30-2pm - We will have lunch anywhere in between this time.  Like I said - laid back!
We pass the day by running errands, crafts sometimes, play room fun, outside play if it's nice and not too cold, maybe a fun activity planned, and sometimes we just veg out in front of the TV and read books and play in between.
5-7pm - Dinner somewhere in there.
9pm - Hayden will usually be asleep by now as she doesn't stay up late.  Hadleigh will be in bed no later than 11pm (and she usually isn't up this late, but it has happened before).

We definitely don't follow this to a "T" every day and some days we are more structured than others, but it works for us.  With 2 little ones you definitely are flexible!

Our schedules are definitely hectic, but we wouldn't change them for the world!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mommy Guilt

So here's to getting a little more personal (as if putting pictures of my kids, family, and house isn't enough).  This is something I struggle with (I need to get some better blogging tools with cooler fonts...any ideas? I need to google!)
Every day I have some sort of mommy guilt, pretty bad huh?  I'm gonna go out on a limb and say I'm definitely not the only one. 

Monday through Friday I feel guilty for going to work and not being able to spend as much time with the girls as I maybe could - you know if I didn't have a job and all that nonsense. Then I might get home and get frustrated with the girls over something little and I immediately feel guilty afterwards.  "Erin, why are you getting frustrated, you need to cherish these 3 hours you have with them at night during the week since you aren't here all day" goes through my head.  I know it's normal to get frustrated, but it doesn't make it feel good.
Then I feel guilty leaving the girls at any point on the weekend because I'm not with them during the week.  Don't get me wrong, there are sometimes when Daniel and I do have a planned night out and I do leave them with our parents and for the most part I'm fine.  I will even feel guilty if I don't have an activity planned to do with them on the weekend and we end up just sitting around playing and watching TV.
Just yesterday I was texting a girlfriend of mine who I haven't seen in a while and we were planning on getting dinner Friday night.  I wanted to totally do dinner, and we have a lot to catch up on, but the guilt creeps in when making potential plans!  So I was honest and told her I felt guilty leaving the girls since I would be working during the day and she's awesome and understood (she has doggie guilt...ha).  So we decided this time, we would go to dinner with our boys and the girls.  It's great to have supportive girlfriends.  We will plan a girls only night a little further out so I can mentally prepare. Oh the days when I could just go out on a whim!

This guilt thing even comes into other areas, not just on time I spend with or without them.  It's so many things!  Including but not limited to:
- Giving Hadleigh chicken and fries a few times in one week.  In the grand scheme of things this is minimal and the guilt doesn't last too long since she is so picky, BUT it's still there for a bit.
- Putting the girls in front of the TV to give mommy and daddy a bit of a break.  The break doesn't last long, but I know the girls (well really Hadleigh right now) probably watch more TV than recommended.  But you know, I already feel bad sometimes doing it.
- Not giving in to Hadleigh and Hayden's every want.  Yes, as a parent I know I can't do this, but it doesn't make it easier.  I know there are rules and boundaries to follow and we do, but I still feel guilty when they get upset no matter what it's about. 

I guess this is part of what makes me a loving mother, but it sucks for my mental calmness sometimes!  I deal with the guilt and I don't let it consume my life - usually it's just thoughts.  Now I do give-in sometimes, and take them with me places when I could have left them home with Daniel or our parents OR I stay in with them instead of going somewhere. 

Do any of you have mommy guilt?  How do you handle it? 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

NYE 2012 & goals for 2013

New Years Eve was very low-key around our house this year.  We both stayed in and just hung out with the girls.  Hayden actually went to bed kind of early, so I don't have any New Years pictures of her :(  (Sorry Hayden, this does NOT mean I love your sister more...ever)
Someone in our neighborhood was letting off fireworks, so Hadleigh and daddy stood at the window watching them for a little bit.  I was coming down the stairs from laying Hayden in her crib to "WOW, mama, LOOK!"

Hadleigh and I then painted our nails sparkly teal (be jealous) and went to make some brownies.  I had to stop Hadleigh cause all she was doing was eating the powder mix - evidence below.

Of course I let her lick the bowl, but she wasn't happy about me taking most of the mix away from her. Win some you lose some.

To say I actually rang in the new year would be a lie.  I fell asleep around 11, but got woken up by Hayden around 1am, so I got my new years kiss then.  I know I know, I'm soooo crazy!


I'm horrible about keeping whatever goals I think I'm going to achieve for the year.  Even if I write them down or put them on the blog (like here which was 2010 - nice! Excuse the pictures not loading, I lost all my old pictures and still in the process of going back and adding them...GRRR) I fail at reaching most if not all of them. Oh well. I definitely have some things in mind for this year, but don't hold me to them ;)

1.  Finish up this Kitchen Renovation - Details to come soon, but renovating sucks.  Especially when it's your kitchen.
2.  Get furniture for the sunken room /finish decorating that & the nook. Yep it's been sitting empty for almost a year.
3. Don't get Pregnant. This is a legit goal people.  I calculated that I've been pregnant (whether not knowingly or REALLY pregnant) throughout some part of the year since 2009.  2009!  Now, if I where to get pregnant, let's not mistake that I would welcome it and be thrilled for the miracle of another precious baby...after the initial shock.  I know how babies are made, but still.
4.  Renovate the office.  Daniel works from home and currently camps out of the couch.  He.Needs.An.Office.
5.  Make more time for Daniel and I.  I feel like everything I read says you should put your spouse first.  With 2 little ones, it's hard to do.  Especially when you love them too much and want to do everything and anything with/for them.  so on top of still doing all of that, we need to really make an effort for us and their sake.  Our relationship is awesome, but with the hustle and bustle of life and're quick to put it on the back burner.  We aren't sure how, but maybe we'll get some cool date night ideas and I'll post about them :)
6.  Soak every moment with the girls.  This is a given.  But recently I've come across random things on Facebook or another blog and it really hits hard.  Random things like people losing loved ones/kids or people who are stricken with illness.  I'm grateful everyday for my girls and cannot imagine life without them, so I'm going to  We are going to go to the zoo, the aquarium, the beach, the children's museum, the park, to parties, to friend's houses, to family's houses.  My sister and I are even planning a Disney Trip for April/May of 2014 and we cannot wait!
7.  Pay my Credit Card off.  I don't have a huge amount of debt, but I hate that payment every month.  paying the minimum doesn't get me anywhere either.  2014 will hopefully be credit card debt free!
8.  Blog about some other topics that I care about.  I've thought about doing this, and I have a few times, but I hesitate a lot putting my thoughts and opinions out there 100%.  Maybe it's time...
9.  Most importantly Have fun everyday!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas Day 2012

Christmas Day was a whirlwind!  The girls can sleep in - especially after a busy night and staying up late.  Of course, this is one morning when we didn't want Hadleigh to sleep in.  We ended up waking her up around 7:30.  She was a bit grumpy at first, and was quiet during the Christmas video, but she ended up waking/warming up.  She's NOT a morning gal :)  I think she was overwhelmed, but excited about the things that Santa brought.  Hayden of course, was just going with the flow.  At first we discussed with Santa that he would only bring Hayden a stocking since she's only 5 months and doesn't need much.  Santa ended up going overboard, for both girls - I wish that man listened ;)
Here's the set-up before the girls (and us) got into it all.
Part of Hayden's corner

Part of Hadleigh's corner

Hayden's on left, Hadleigh's on right, and things for both of them in middle

Of course, these are the only pictures I got of our house Christmas morning.  I did however get the video camera out, so that's a plus.  Next year I'll try to juggle the camera too! The girls got to play with their new toys for only about 30 minutes, before we had to get them ready to go to Gran & Gramps house.  We meet Kelli, Chey, and the boys up there for presents and breakfast Christmas morning. 
Santa brought Gramps and the kids a choo-choo train that even blows smoke.  You think Gramps liked what Santa brought??

We all really enjoyed the presents everyone got - and had fun watching them open the presents.

All of the kids:
Hadleigh 2.5 years

Hayden 5 months

Erik 4 years

Jaxson 20 months

After we all ate breakfast and played some more, we had to leave to go home and get ready for Daniel's parents house.  Every Christmas Day afternoon, the Rodriguez's get together.  More family and more food - tons of it!  The girls got spoiled some more - we have very generous families - each and every one of them <3  I didn't take too many pictures - I was too busy eating, talking, and holding the girls (they wouldn't let us put them down)
All the girls of the family

Hadleigh (looking thrilled) in her Christmas dress

We are so lucky to be able to spend the Christmas holiday with so many family members!  That's what it's all about!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas Eve 2012

Then came Christmas Eve at Grandma & Pop's.  There's just as many people in the Harris family that there is in the Santerre Family, so it's pretty loud and crazy here too :)  We had a good time eating, talking, opening gifts, and playing a game.  The girls had fun once they warmed up to everyone and only had one set-back when Hadleigh got scared of one of the stuffed animal toys that talks.  She is scared of all of them this year for some reason!  I got some good pictures of Grandma & Pop this year too!
Hayden talking to a Christmas Bear
Nene & Hadleigh
Daddy & Hayden
Nene & Aunt JuJu
my girls!

Then We were off to do Christmas with Nene, Baba, and Steve!    Hayden slept through most of the opening of presents, but did wake up to get a pony ride! :)  We all loved our gifts especially Hadleigh - she got Caillou stuff and her own 'puter (LeapPad2).  By the time we were finished it was getting late and we still had to go home and get ready for Santa!  The girls surprisingly stayed awake for the ride home, so we went right to bed after we left milk and cookies for the big man in red.

Hadleigh reading like Nene

Hayden riding "Jack"


Showing daddy her LeapPad

more Caillou!