Thursday, September 30, 2010

Phils Birthday (for real this time)

I took the boys into the office to visit Phil for his birthday! Luke picked out some ballons and was so happy about them!

We brought lunch and had a picnic in his office. The ladies in Phil's office brought in food and a cake for his birthday. They even made a 30th birthday sign for his door! Micah had his first taste of pineapple!

Phil has two computers on his desk so I joked about him using just the laptop and how funny it looked right next to the desktop. So then he told me that he uses BOTH at the same time and drags things from one screen to the other! Silly me.

Phil wanted me to take this one so his mom can see his two diplomas hanging on the wall together. We have a lot invested in those two pieces of paper. I am glad they have a place of honor!

We are thinking about painting the lower part of the wall below the chair rail IU red. The office has some pretty tall ceilings and I think the red would look great. What do you think?

Look What Big Baby Can Do!

Yes, that is a standing baby! He pulled himself up all on his own twice in a row. I was peeling potatoes in the kitchen when I saw him! I can't wait to tell Phil!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

8 Months Young

Baby Micah is 8 months!

Now that he is crawling so well the remote control is toast!

He loves that it lights up.

There are a few foods that he likes:

chicken bones

it's the perfect thing for him right now. Lot's of good marrow and meat for baby.


as you can see (and know from experience if you have a meal with us lately) he would prefer to feed himself.

He fusses at the table unless he has small bits of food to feed himself. I think that his favorite food to feed himself is little cooked broccoli florets. He can pick them up with his pinchers (thumb and pointer finger and put it right in his mouth) I am amazed that he can do that AND that he likes broccoli.

Micah prefers to drink out of a straw! One day he got a hold of big brothers cup and before I could stop him he was sucking out of the straw like an old pro! That first time was over 2 months ago and ever since he prefers the straw to the sippy cup. Yet another thing that surprises and amazes me.

Luke was eating his breakfast this morning at the counter and baby Micah was trying to climb his chair to get to him! He does not want to get left behind...

I couldn't tell if Micah was just trying to get to Luke or get to his granola and milk breakfast?

Luke is NOT amused.

In fact Luke spent most of his morning up on this stool just to get away! After he finished eating he started doing a puzzle. I had to coax him down to get dressed!

While Luke was getting dressed in the bathroom Micah had crawled (he is so fast) back to Luke's room and found big brothers water again! Is he a rascal on purpose?

I suspect so?

His lower front teeth seem to be all the way in now and his upper incisors are halfway in too! We call him fang since his front teeth are not in yet. I heard a funny noise coming from his room 2 nights ago and realized that he was clicking his teeth together. A horrible sound! And he is a biter...especially when nursing. I have done all of the things that are suggested to get their attention and stop but they have not worked with him. He thinks that they are funny and that he is so funny. Some days I feel like "just give this kid a cup with a straw and call it a day" Luke was SO not like this.

While I was finding Micah and dealing with him, Luke found the themometer and was practicing using it in his mouth in the living room. I ended up letting him so that the next time he is sick he will understand what I mean when I say "put this under your tongue"

Micah loves to play and is desperate to play with big brother no matter what the game. Luke mostly just pesters little brother but Micah actually likes the attention...even if it is rough! I have to separate them a lot because Micah is trying to get Luke and Luke is trying to get away. Recently Luke crawled into the pack n' play just to get away from the crawler. Luke also picks up his toys if Micah is headed toward them and throws them behind the hallway gate and locks the door. Then Micah crawls to the gate and starts shaking it and yelling. Micah just wants to play with the big kid toys. He can even zoom a truck on the carpet!

Micah is growing even though we are not sure of his weight. His dresser is again filled with clothes that are too small. He needs 24 month sized pants because his waist and thighs are so large. He has grown out of his infant swing and it is time to pack it up! I feel like that it too soon! My baby is no longer a baby. Certainly not if he is wearing 24 month clothing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover

We have been busy making over our kitchen cabinets.

Our house is 10 years old and the original builder installed basic wood cabinetry in an oak finish. Even as I am looking at this photo I see that there is nothing really wrong with our kitchen. The problem is that although the cabinet doors are wood, the exposed sides of the cabinets are faux wood. Yep, they are pressed paper board with a picture of wood grain stuck to the board. The oaks just do not match. They are close but I can tell.

And that was bothering me.

See the underside of the bar? That is all faux wood. You can really see in this photo. It reflects differently than real wood.

So it looks fine but it kind of bores me. Since we have a fairly small kitchen I wanted a more cottage look. I thought that the easiest thing to do would be to paint the cabinets a creamy white similar to my dining furniture and kitchen bar stools.

Remember my dining room and new tile? The kitchen wants to be more up to speed with this adjoining room.

While Phil was in the final stages of bar studying, I was deconstructing the kitchen...

It started harmlessly enough. I removed all of the cabinets doors and hardware.

I considered getting new hardware but after reading about my friend Jessica's kitchen cabinet makeover I decided that it would be cheaper to give the hardware its own inexpensive makeover. I laid out all of the hardware: hinges and drawer pulls.

I chose an antique oiled bronze finish spray paint (it matches the chandelier)

and sprayed all hardware.

After the bar was over, we tackled priming and painting the cabinet doors. I thought this would be the easy part since Young House Love makes it seem that way. Such a hard thing for us perfectionists to do!

Now priming and painting the actual cabinets.

This project is quickly taking over our house and lives!

A key feature to this makeover is covering up the faux wood paneling.

We installed paintable beadboard paneling under the bar when we laid the floor. It looks so much better already!

Now that everything is painted I wanted to go a step further and "antique" everything...I must have lost my mind?

So in the last 2 months we have FINALLY gone from here:

to here:

We are really happy with the results except for one little hang up...

the stain that I am using for the antique treatment is Bombay Mahogany. My test sample looked great so I went ahead and antiqued all of the doors except for the two largest. It was getting late in the night and the smell was getting to me. So I went to bed and tackled the final doors a few days later. I should have never waited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know what happened but my stain is not "antiquing" consistently with my previous attempts. The first attempt was very subtle and creamy and the mahogany is really showing through on the final 2 doors. Mahogany is not creamy or subtle, it is RED! So now I have 2 pinky cabinet doors and I am not sure if I will be able to remedy the problem since the first application must have been a fluke!?


See the difference between the left and right side doors? The left is the pink one.

I am stumped and so ready to have my kitchen and garage back. I feel like has turned into a disaster and part of me wishes I had just left it all alone in the first place! Ack! Another part of me is so fed up and frustrated that I feel like ordering all new cabinets and starting over from scratch. Since, the latter is NOT an option at this point I will just keep fussing and hopefully something will work out? My perfection is really being tested on this one. I guess stretching is a good thing?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Virginia Friends I - Washington D.C.

Labor Day weekend we visited our friends Peter, Tina, and Gioia McNeilly in Stafford Virginia. Peter is a Marine Jag officer and has been participating in TBS training in Quantico Virgina at Camp Barrett. He is actually almost done with his training and is waiting to hear where in the U.S. he will be stationed next! It is an exciting time for them and we are all very proud of what Peter has been doing and what he has accomplished. They only live about a half hour drive from the Franconia/Springfield Metro stop. Saturday morning we all met there and got on the metro and headed into D.C.

It was so GOOD to see them! All 3.

Micah's first Metro trip!

4 adults and 3 strollers
D.C. here we come!

The Capitol

The Washington Monument

The McNeillys in front of the capitol

and the Washington Monument. It was windy but such a beautiful day!

Tina packed us all a lunch and we ate it near a fountain by the National Archives.

Gioia loves D.C!

Peter is so tough looking?! He has done some crazy and unbelievable things in TBS. They have both been through a lot and we are glad that TBS is almost over.

Tina and I wanted to visit the Smithsonian and see the First Lady Dresses exhibit and Julia Childs kitchen. It took some coercing to get the guys on board but they humored us and viewed the kitchen but when it was time to see the dresses they were suddenly gone. Oh well. Their lose. Tina and I LOVED seeing the dresses. They even had Michelle Obamas gown from the latest Inaugural Ball!

I posed in front of Julia's kitchen. She donated it to the Smithsonian. It is recreated to the T. It even has her decorative cats on top of the fridge!

Phil and I really wanted to see the WWII monument. I had never seen it before and Phil had only seen it in the early spring without the water running. It was quite the sight!

Behind me are stars and each star represents 100 U.S. deaths! Look how many there are.

I was feeling really emotional about the monument because I had just finished reading "Coming Home" by Rosamund Pilcher. It is historical fiction set before, during and after WWII.

The monument is located directly in line with the Lincoln and Washington monuments. Phil said that people were upset about this because it changes the look of the mall. I think it makes the monument more special that you can see all 3 monuments together.

We were not really sure why so many people were getting into the fountain in the middle of the monument since there were many signs that said to stay out of the fountain? It was weird to see people sitting on the edge of the fountain with their feet in the water right next to a sign. It made me realize that people are not as respectful as they used to be or as I think they should be. It actually made me mad. Maybe because I had just read that book or maybe because we were walking around with a Marine and we were proud of him?

From here we wandered up to Georgetown to visit the cupcake shop! Read about that here. And then our trip to Williamsburg here.
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