Friday, November 21, 2014

Grammar! And Thomas.

This whole child rearing thing is pretty fascinating. Every day is a new adventure, and these kiddos pick up new skills every hour. A few weeks ago, Everett started speaking in complete sentences, with nouns and verbs and all that jazz! I can ask him what he did while I was at work that day, and he can answer in a somewhat coherent manner (except he was talking about walking on the roof the other day, so I should probably check in with the babysitter on that one). It is hard to believe how fast he is growing!

Then there are other things about kids at this stage that just baffle me. For example, what the heck is the deal with Thomas the Train? Why do kids think he's so special? I read Everett a Thomas story ONE TIME and the kid is friggin' hooked. Just this morning, he was dragging Jeff by the hand to the living room, pointing at the TV and saying, "Watchin' na Thomas!" It is consuming him.

Any adult who has watched an episode of Thomas the Train can agree with me when I say that Thomas is kind of a tool. I mean, he never does what he's told, his unruly actions cause extensive damage to the railway, he gets in everyone's way, he is full of himself, and to top it all off, his actions are enabled because, despite the damage that ensues, everything always ends up just fine at the end of each episode. I won't go into details or bore you with an example, but I think the show is incredibly frustrating to watch.

However, Everett loves it. And I can think of worse role models for a kid...


And I can honestly say the two books we broke down and bought for him are much less frustrating than the shows. The one below is more about pictures of trains, Christmas, and rhyming, and the other is about being brave. So the TV shows do not air too frequently in our household. However, at least Everett has something he loves to keep him out of trouble...although he did get his toy train (pictured above the clown) stuck in his hair the other day, which caused a bit of drama. That aside, it turns out I have another great bribing mechanism for this kiddo: "You don't want to go to bed? What if I read you a Thomas book?" Works every time!

His most recent obsession: Thomas' Night Before Christmas.

Monday, November 17, 2014

I Painted...

Well, I'm still working on my quilt, but I crossed another big to-do off my list this weekend. The upstairs bathroom has been painted! Bye-bye green, hello Aloof Gray!

As much as I loved the happy green color, it was time for a change. The paint was chipping off in many places, and I could not find the right paint can for touch ups. Also, as much as I loved the happy green color, I was over it.

I made a few other changes while I was at it. You notice in the "Before" picture that our old shower curtain rod was rounded. This was great for when we were showering, as it really opened up the space and made the small shower feel more roomy. However, it was a bit invasive when we were out of the shower, and no one likes to showcase a dirty bathtub by having the curtain open during the day. Furthermore, mildew would grow on anything we had tucked inside the tub, so we could only use a fabric shower curtain liner (which only comes in 2 colors - white and beige). To fix these frustrating issues, I bought a generic but higher quality (so it is not always falling on my head) tension rod at Target. I was then able to pull our old Pottery Barn shower curtain from storage!

Of course, I had to fill a few holes the old rod left behind, so used this stuff before applying the new paint color.

It was incredibly easy to use, and comes with it's own (plastic) spackling knife! An additional bonus was the fast drying time.

So how did I choose the color? We did a ton of research and narrowed our options down to Benjamin Moore Gray Owl and BM Harbor Gray. I had color samples painted on our walls for about 4 months and changed my mind almost daily. Then last Monday on my way home from work, I noticed Sherwin Williams was having their biannual 40% off sale. Since the sale ended 2 hours later, I opted for the SW discount...and a color I hadn't tested yet. I randomly picked Aloof Gray and had them mix it at 75%. And I am in LOVE.

You can see my color samples below for comparison. 

Gray Owl is on the left, Harbor Gray is on the right, and Aloof Gray is painted below.

For months I thought I was going to go with Harbor Gray, but as soon as the season turned I decided it was a little too purple for my taste. Gray Owl was a safe choice, but I wanted something a little less bright, so it turned out Aloof Gray was a perfect compromise! It's a little warmer than Gray Owl, but still shades in the blue realm of gray.

Some other features of the bathroom include a picture I took on one of our trips to the San Juan Islands:

A watercolor we purchased from a sweet coffee shop on that same vacation:

And a lovely jewelry holder purchased from my friend at JeLeFais:

I also have a basket on the back of the toilet that holds baby wipes, extra toilet paper, and Clorox wipes (for when Everett misses). The cloth diaper wet bag and sprayer are on the other side of the toilet, so they are more discreet when we have guests.

We keep the door to this room closed most of the time. Can you guess why?

He really is too much!

But here's the official "After".

And one with the lights on...for all possible effects.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Time Traveling

Invitations for Everett's 2nd birthday party have officially gone in the mail. I have a list of to-dos for the big day, and many daunting chores need completing before we have a house full of company. My most challenging task will be finishing this dang quilt!

Its contents are taking up much needed space in the house. This beast has been months in the making, but I think the results will be worth the effort.

This picture was taken before all the rows were joined. Now the only thing I have left to do is the actual quilting/binding. Many people get nervous about this process, but I've done research on a few techniques and feel confident in my abilities. However, just to be safe, please wish me ALL the luck. The quilt is roughly the size of a twin comforter, so there is a lot of potential for error. I will be armed with wine and Gilmore Girls!

I find it hard to believe it has almost been 2 years since our sweet little guy was born. Where does the time go?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lovely Family Photos

Even in the colder months, the Manito Park Rose Garden is stunning. I always forget to visit this place, as there are usually a million people around. However, the cooler weather has kept much of Spokane indoors these last few days. I was glad we braved the chill to visit the park - perhaps for the last time before the snow comes.

 We also got to take some pictures with this cutie! Seriously, could he be any sweeter?

And who could be upset when a cold day ends in the company of dear friends, with Gordy's Sichuan warming our bellies?

Monday, November 3, 2014


Another weekend come and gone. As much as I hate Daylight Saving, I really needed that extra hour this weekend to recover from all the wine I drank on Halloween. We spent some time cleaning up the yard (I really wish we had a leaf blower and a hedge trimmer), the top of my quilt is finally finished(!), and I finally got this print in a frame.

Jeff and I are obsessed with original art. So when we visited Nashville this summer and stopped by Hatch Show Print, we could not resist getting a little souvenir. All their prints are made from a traditional letterpress, and because of this each one is 100% unique. I highly recommend visiting the shop if you are ever in Nashville!

I cut the mat myself (while watching Gilmore Girls) using a box cutter and mat board, then found a cheap frame at Hobby Lobby. Some day we may pay to custom frame this bad boy, but that day will not come until all toddlers in the house have grown.

Other than doing a million projects around the house (quilting, finishing up the basement, fall cleaning), we have been kicking around fallen leaves, jumping in puddles, and snuggling on the couch.

Someone got a haircut. I miss the wild hair, but now it's not always in his eyes.

There are a couple fun things to share about this next photo.

Firstly, those shelves under the window will soon be put up in the basement. However, they are still upstairs because both Everett and Willow like to stand on them to look out the window.

Secondly, I have a funny potty training story to tell. E isn't wearing pants in this picture because they are rather cumbersome when potty training. Last night, I gave him an M&M as a potty reward. Since we don't do a lot of candy in the house, he didn't understand what it meant. I handed him the candy, then he promptly stood up and threw it in the pee-filled bucket! He was laughing hysterically! I guess that's one way to reward him! Thus far him flushing the toilet has been his reward, but I thought I'd try the candy thing now that we have some in stock from Halloween.

He calls the computer a idea why.

 I just love the smell of fallen leaves after a rainstorm!
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