Thursday, January 26, 2012

Growing up.

I know you can tell from the photos, but our little baby is growing up.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her in the backseat, and I tear up.  Sometimes she says something that makes me marvel at all that is going on in her little head, and I tear up.

(Sometime she is naughty and drives me a little bit crazy.  I don't tear up then.)

Recently, we transformed Olive's bed from a crib to a toddler bed.  I know a lot of people do this way earlier than 2.5-ish.  But, because she never tried to climb out of her crib, it didn't seem like a safety risk ... and we didn't want to push it before she was (er, we were) ready.

So far, it has gone smashingly.  And I can say those words aloud because it has been long enough that we believe she is used to it.  She likes climbing in and out by herself.  She likes having a pillow, and she loves being 'tucked in' with the blanket my Gramma Headley crocheted, which makes me weepy all over again.

We are still inching towards potty training.  And, don't get me started on how I was too much of a wimp to try changing Olive's bed and eliminating her night-time binky at the same time.  Before too long ...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another Bathroom Modification (in Progress).

So, Olive's bathroom isn't the only room in our house that had (or, in some cases, still has) wallpaper that doesn't totally 'suit' our style.

It was floral and feminine, and just not us.  A few months ago (yeah, a while ago), I noticed a curl in the wallpaper ... and I started peeling.  It came off in long, satisfying pieces.  I peeled and peeled until the remaining pieces were out of my reach.  So, the rest of the wallpaper just lingered.

Until recently,

Now our bathroom looks like this.

Next step, prepping the walls, priming, and painting ... well, deciding on a paint color at least :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Olive's Bathroom - The Yellow Period.

Not too terribly long ago, we removed the wallpaper in Olive's bathroom and painted the walls a very light pink.  (See our post about that.)

When the painting was finally complete, we knew almost immediately that it wasn't our favorite ... but it was a heck of a lot better than the wallpaper.  More us.

Kyle rolled with it.  I obsessed a bit.  And I trooped out to a local paint store to pick up a test pot of the same color paint we used for most of our home in St. Louis.

Kyle shook his head, and humored me.  I made a test square in the bathroom.  Decided that I preferred it to the pink (ya, know, slightly), and bought us a gallon of the paint in proper bathroom sheen.

Then I got distracted.  With, you know, the other things going on in our lives and everyone else's.  And months passed.  Seriously, months.

With Christmas travel behind us, we took a few evenings recently to paint the walls in Olive's bathroom with two coats of yellow paint.

Ta. Da.

So, it is pretty subtle.  (Well, except when my camera skilz make things appear a little more sunny than they actually are.)

Kyle calls it, "Pastel," which -of course- it is, but he has an inflection that I know means, "Pastel," isn't a good thing for him.  (For me, it is neither good nor bad, just lightly colored.)  In some lights, the yellow has a bit more green in it that we prefer.  But, with all of the bathroom accessories loaded, we like it. 

(I know that I like it more than Kyle does.  And, he has on more than one occasion told me, "It is OK.  It works.  I'm just not painting the bathroom again."  Which really means, "Heather, don't go getting any more crazy ideas.  And, certainly, for goodness' sake, don't go buying any more paint for that room."  To be honest, I have never heard Kyle use the phrase, "goodness' sake," anywhere except in my head.)

And one more picture.

Both Olive's bathroom and our bathroom have lovely 1960's-era tile, and both have coordinating bands of this twisty-gold/bronze accent.  Most of the time, we pretend it isn't there.  The human brain is a powerful thing.  More and more (except when I'm taking photos in the bathrooms), I don't even notice it is there.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Enjoying Where We Are.

This weekend, we enjoyed a cloudy, threatening to rain but not quite getting there, Saturday morning.

We made breakfast at home (berry scones, scrambled eggs, and a few left-over little smokies).  The scones were a new recipe, but they turned out nicely and worked well with our freezer berries.

Then we visited a new, local farmers market.  (We enjoy a nearby restaurant/bar called Petrol, and the owners opened their parking lot Saturday morning for the market.)

We put Olive in the seat on Kyle's bike, and peddled a few blocks south.  There were more than five, but fewer than ten, vendors ... While we were there, probably 40+ people milled around, made purchases, and gabbed.  Not bad for a debut!  All of the vendors were friendly, and excited-but apologetic-to have sold much of their stock before our 10a arrival.

We picked up a few items, and peddled around the neighborhood for awhile.  Then, we headed home to drop off our haul, and to meet friends at the park down the street. 

Olive and her friends, Gracie, Abby, and Ava, climbed all over the playground and enjoyed a few snacks before the parents broke up the party to head home for lunch and naps.

All before 1230p!

It was a simple morning, but it had me smiling all day.  I loved getting out and moving.  I loved seeing how differently Olive approaches bike rides now than she did almost a year ago when we first got her bike seat.  (Then: She screamed bloody murder. Now: She screams, "Let's go FAST!!")  I love meeting friends at the park, catching up with the parents while Olive and her friends enjoy their own fun.  I love seeing that our neighborhood is also a community, and I love being a part of that community.  There is joy in seeing where we are right now and loving it.

I will be the first to admit that our life isn't all rainbows and ice cream.  I could rattle off a list of things we would like, things we would like to change, or things that make us sad ... but ... Saturday was pretty great, and I wouldn't change that for the world.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wrapping Up.

Somehow, it is the 12th of January, and I am just now wrapping up our Christmas rundown.

Technically, I left one of our Christmas celebrations out - #4.  We spent boxing day with Julie, Blake, Chad, Emily, and Kate.  It is the one celebration of which I have no photographic record.  Arg! 


Olive discovered candy canes this Christmas.  She calls them, "candy candy."  Because she spits them out as soon as she puts them in her mouth, I'm pretty sure she doesn't like them.  I'm also pretty sure she keeps trying them, because she thinks--with a name like that--they must be twice as good as regular candy. 


And, finally, Olive has started skipping around our house, "like horsey."  It totally cracks us up. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Years' Eve.

First, we went to the KC children's museum, Wonderscope.  They had a kid-focused New Year's eve celebration that morning.

Later, we enjoyed dinner at Liz and Matt's ... tasty risotto, yummy lamb chops, and some really awesome bread pudding ... and we also took a few photos :)

And, there you have it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Park Time With The Thiels.

There is an awesome park very near Liz and Matt's house.

(And, if you made it this far, I will admit that the park photos were the hardest for me to edit.  There were just too many cute photos!!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fun Time With The Thiels.

We spent New Year's weekend in Kansas City.  We had a great time with Russ and Rae, Liz and Matt, Grandpa Swenson, and "CharlieBetsyWill".  (Olive merges the three names into one epic cousin request, "CharlieBetsyWill?")

We spent a lot of time in Liz and Matt's awesome playroom.

It was a fairly photo intensive weekend.  Trust me.  I edited.  But, there were so many cute photos!  (So, the next few days will be my homage to Kansas City.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Day.

We spent Christmas day at the Lake, mostly in our pajamas. 

It was a great day.   

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Eve.

Our first Christmas celebration was with my Dad, on Christmas Eve.  We enjoyed a family lunch, opened presents, and hung out with Dad, Blake, Chad, Emily, and Kate.

Later that afternoon, we moved on to celebration number two: the Ottinger family Christmas at my Aunt Bonnie's house.  There was a significant round up of great-grandchildren: Olive, Kate, Nyjah, Kenai, Tyler, and Charlotte.   (Also pictured are my grandfather, my cousin Candice, and my cousin Sean.)  The only missing great-grandkids were Sophia and Dylan, who spent Christmas in Vancouver :( ...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And We're Back.

It doesn't matter how much we try to slow down.  Christmastime is always a little bit crazy.

Because we are blessed with families and friends far and wide, we almost always do a bit of traveling.  We never get to see everyone, but we sure try.

Now, we are back in Houston, and back at work.  We're trying to cross off our list a few of the chores that develop with back-to-back trips away from home.  Along with the mountains of laundry, we are taking down the Christmas decorations, culling out old toys to make room for new ones, and hammering away at a new year's resolution or two.

Over the next few days, I'll post some of our Christmas snaps ... probably too many of them.

Happy New Year!