Thursday, May 28, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

Can we even say weekend when I was on vacation for five days?  Maybe week?  ...and the best part is that I'm back at work just today and then back off for three more days.  That's what summer should be all about, right?

This weekend there was some good progress on the house.  We had the concrete laid out and the beach put in just in time to enjoy the nice weather. We got some planters full of flowers for the deck and the front port and a big pot of raspberries for the patio. We spent lots of time outside when it wasn't raining and Noah is loving going on walks right now which is so nice.

On the downside I was still dealing from the pain of my neck injury of last week and then I scratched my cornea a couple of days ago so I was mending half the time while Jeff took care of Noah.  To top it off I was walking through Meijer yesterday and out of nowhere slid (on nothing) and fell right on my knee and I have the biggest bruise known to man.  Anyone feel like after kids they started getting hurt/injured/clumsy all the time?  Could be the lack of sleep or forgetting to eat enough but seriously, I've got to get it together here!

We finished out the long weekend with a Memorial day walk to GVSU.  It's so crazy to see the campus so empty on a holiday.  We got some great pictures of Noah and he got to run around anywhere he liked.

We've got more relaxing on the way this weekend as well as a fun wedding shower and hopefully some more good weather for the pool/beach.  I'm hoping to finish up a couple of house projects and photograph the house now that it's starting to look more put together. I've got a major cleaning day ahead of me, lots of laundry and bathroom/kitchen cleaning so of course we'll have another busy and fast weekend pass us by!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cutest Summer Sleepwear for Toddler Boys

The weather is finally getting warmer around these parts and although I'm loving it, poor Noah is already sweating bullets, I can't even imagine what warmer weather will do to him.  He must be a winter baby or just has all that baby blubber that still keeps him warm.  So even though I'm still sleeping in long pants it's time for Noah to get some summer pjs. Lucky for me I happened to pick up one larger size summer pj last year for a steal and I found it in the bottom of the "buy now, wear later" bin. That has lasted us the last two weeks of hit or miss hot night weather but it's time to stock up on summer pjs. I've rounded up a couple picks of the cutest boys sleepwear the inter-webs have to offer.

One \\ Two \\ Three \\ Four \\ Five \\ Six

I love summer pjs.  Those chunky legs running around my house. =)
But lets not forget us girls.  I've been eyeing some summer pjs for me too.  This cute little short sleep set is perfect for lounging in all weekend long.  And do you think if I run errands is these shorts anyone will notice they're for bed?  I'm that person.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

5 Steps to Quickly Dice an Onion

This is the easiest, most fool proof way to dice an onion.  Guaranteed. I'm constantly using diced onion in many of my recipes and I try and keep already diced onion in a tupperware container to save time when I'm throwing dinner together.  It's such a quick and easy ingredient to have on hand prepped and ready to go when you need it. So, here we go, 5 easy steps to dice an onion.

1. Cut the ends of your onion off.  The parts that grow the root and the top.
2. With one of the flat sides down so it doesn't roll, dice in half.  Peel of the outer skin.
3. Cut slits into the onion all the way down to the cutting board and as close to the back of the onion as you can without making a full slice to the back.  The closer together the slices the smaller the diced onion.
4. Make cuts into the onion parallel to the cutting board in the same manner as above cutting almost all the way through the onion but not all the way to the back.
5. Finally, cut the onion from right to left until you're left with a small area with no cuts.  You can rough dice that separately as there wont be much left. Cut the second onion following the same steps.

And that it!  Super easy and quick. You really can't mess this one up!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Weekend Update - Sick Baby & Lots of Cuddles

This weekend was such a roller coaster with Noah and I being injured and sick.  On Friday as I was playing with Noah I put my thirty-five pound child on my shoulders and of course hurt my neck.  I didn't think it was that bad until I woke up Saturday morning and literally could not move my head in any direction.  I ended up in urgent care most of the morning and was dosed up on meds the rest of the weekend trying to mend.  At the same time, Noah was fighting another cold.  Thank you daycare.  All the wanted to do was cuddle with mama.... not that I'm complaining.   We spent most of Saturday attached as we both tried to get better.

On  Saturday, I was feeling a little better so we got to working around the house and got a couple of projects done.  Our rug came in so we set that down.  We hung up some pictures in the living room and installed some lights outside.  And of course a lot more cuddling from the little guy.  He still needed some extra love.

The house is finally starting to take shape.  We got our sectional ordered so now we're patiently waiting for it to arrive so we can move the living room furniture downstairs and start working on the basement.

Jeff and I took Monday of for a little extra time together and what I great idea that was. I was finally able to move around, although I'm pretty sure I was going through withdrawals from that crazy pain medicine.  I took two little tablets and after they wore out for at least all of Sunday morning I was sweaty and tingly in my arms and felt like I was going to throw up.  Ugh.  That's why I refuse to take meds unless I really have to.  Anyway, Monday we had set up to get some family pictures done with a new photographer and they were so amazing.  The weather was perfect and the location so gorgeous.  The best part though was our photographer.  I'm mad I hadn't found her earlier because she was so nice and was great with Noah.  It just felt like we were hanging out at the park.  Like night and day from our last photographer.  And we found out she lives less than a mile from us! If you live in the Grand Rapids area definitely check her out.
Oh ya... and she had already had fifteen previews done within a couple of hours.  So great.

When we got home we pulled out the pool and enjoyed the warm weather and watched the construction guys tear our our beach and put sand down.  Did you hear that, we have a beach!  I never thought we would be so lucky and Noah is really going to enjoy it this summer. To finish out our long weekend we went to our first parent teacher conferences and out for dinner.  Noah is amazing. He loves to clean up and help the teachers.  Just like his mama.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Twenty Three Months

The closer it gets to Noah's birthday the more I'm excited that this year I'm not planning a huge party. I happen to work on that weekend and the house doesn't even have a driveway for people to park in, or grass to walk on... so I think it might just be some family and cake and icecream and we'll call it a day, right?  I mean, he wont even remember this birthday anyway.  Next year we'll do something big.  Maybe a lake party?  I like it.

The most exciting thing this month is Noah is finally starting to talk!  There is a light at the end of the tunnel... well actually, we're still right at the beginning but at least there is hope my kid wont be mute. "No" is the big word around the house.

Me: Noah, would you like to come eat lunch?
Noah: Nooooe.... (in the sweetest most non mean voice)
Me: Noah, do you want to give mommy a hug?
Noah: Noooe.... (keeps trying to climb the cofee table)
Me: Noah, can you please get off the table?
Noah: Noooe... (Smiles at me as he's sitting on the table)
Me: Noah, are you sure you don't want any milk?
Noah: Noooe.....(and then realizes he actually does and just likes to say no and signs for his milk) lol
      That's what I thought kid.

  • Stats: Size 6 Diapers | 2T-3T clothing
  • Size: 35 lbs
  • New Abilities: He's pretty much mastered the cup.  He's eating great with a fork and spoon.  He can jump with both feet and pretty much do most physical activities we do.  We never put up gates at the new house and it's worked out great.  Noah goes up and down with no problems.  We barely watch him at this point.  He can pretty much go to most parts of the house on his own with the exception of a few rooms with have child door locks. He's running super fast and sometimes stands on his tiptoes to look over things which is the cutest. 
  • New Words: So as I said above, I think it's getting better.  I don't feel as stressed out and I'm excited for the speech therapist to see him this month.  New words: onion, oval, home, no, ya.
  • Sleep: Daycare has kind of put a damper on sleeping for us.  His night time sleep is pretty good but he does wake up here and there which is super annoying.  We'll let him cry it out, sometimes he goes back down, sometimes he needs something like a wet or poopy diaper. In the morning instead of sleeping 'till eight he's been getting up around seven which obviously is not as nice but it's not terrible.  Most days he's super hungry in the morning possibly from not eating enough at daycare.  Or maybe it's just a growth spurt.  Who knows.  Naps are shorter. An hour at worst, two at best. 
  • Mom Check-In: I'm still not getting nearly enough sleep.  I'm trying to make it a point to go to bed super early on some of the nights Jeff is working and let things go for another day.  I did take two naps on mothers day weekend which was amazing.  I sure do miss taking naps whenever before Noah was around.  In the next few weeks we have Jeff, Noah and my birthdays as well as our anniversary, a wedding shower and a bachelor/bachelorette party so we're looking at a few busy weeks ahead.  May and June will sure go by fast and then it'll be super hot and Noah and I will be out getting our tan on on the lake.  Super exciting.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs

Sometimes you try and recipe and then decide you need to make it over and over 'cause you can't stop eating it (or your husband keeps asking for them).... yes, this is one of them.  You can roll the meatballs ahead of time and put them in the fridge of freezer.  Pull them out when you're ready to drop them in the pan and all you have to worry about is stirring the sauce.  It doesn't get much easier then that.


1lb ground turkey
1 large egg
1/2 C breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 medium onion (minced)
salt and pepper

1/2 C soy sauce
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C water
1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp corn starch

1. Mix all meatball ingredients and roll into small meatballs. Bake in oven or in a pan.  I like the pan version personally.  (Until golden brown and cooked through)

2. Mix water and cornstarch in a small bowl until all the cornstarch is dissolved and there are no lumps.  Mix all other ingredients in a small pot and add cornstarch mixture.  Heat on high and stir often until sauce thickens.

3. Pour over cooked meatballs and serve over rice. or pasta . or eat alone before the rice is done cooking.
... and enjoy the amazingness of the meatballs.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Moved In!

We are officially moved in to the house!  Well, it's been almost four weeks and I debated even showing any pictures because of the giant mess the house was.  But we've finally had some time to start putting things together and put away and although none of the house is "decorated" quite yet, and nowhere near finished, I figured I would update on what's still left to do even though we're moved in, and show some final pictures before we start prettying up the house.

Ok, we can start in the entry.  Forgive my terrible pictures, but for now, that's all you get until Noah wants to take a nap in the middle of the day with better lighting. =)  All that's left up here is painting the door, inside and out.  It'll be the same blue as the kitchen island.  Also some paint touch ups throughout the house.

The living room is the most finished so far but we still have a long way to go.  We're waiting to order a new sectional which we finally found at Art Van.  After lots of searching for just the perfect one, we had to go the custom route and found a perfect one that fit just right and in the color we wanted.  Once we order they still have to make it and deliver it, so until then, we'll stick with our old basement sectional which will then be returned to the basement. Curtains are up and I love them.  After much debate for one or two curtain rods we decided to go with the two since the windows were so wide and I think we made the right decision.  Since we wont be closing the curtains anyway we didn't really need them to go all the way across... and who can find a rod that long?  We also have to order a chair like Noahs for the other side of the fireplace and maybe a little table to go behind the couch with some lamps...?  We'll have to wait and see.  Finally, some major shelf styling but that will be almost last on the list.
The kitchen is pretty much done.  A couple cute things on the counters and we'll be good to go.

The half bath is super tiny, long and skinny and way hard to photograph, especially with no natural light so I think this is the best I can get.  Maybe some shelves above the toilet or a nice painting but not too much work left in this room either.
The office is coming along nicely too. The big piece is in and we just bought Noah a little table and chairs from Ikea for the other side of the room so we can all work together.  Some pictures still need to go on the wall and my DIY curtains we're just finished this week.  (Similar ones here)

Still to be done are minor paint touch ups, and fix its around the house.  Some light bulbs need to be replaced and other minor things around the house that the contractors need to finish up.  The outside of the house though has so much work left.  Lots of painting of trim, screens to be put on windows.  Driveway needs to be poured as we're still parking on sand, landscaping and sand on the beach.  So ya... lots of work still ahead of us this summer.  And here is a re-cap of most of the building schedule from beginning to end.

Oct 8 (Day 1) - We signed our contract and everything is official!
Oct 9 (Day 2) - Expected ground breaking - delay with permit.
Oct 14 (Day 7) - Pick out front door (similar to this), interior doors, house molding, door knobs, and decking and siding.
Oct 15 (Day 8) - Fireplace picked
Oct 21 (Day 14) - Faucets, sinks, shower heads, toilets.  Also garage door.
Oct 23 (Day 16) - Cabinetry for the whole house - knobs and handles
Nov 5 (Day 29) - Ground breaking - hole digging and laying some foundation.
Nov 13 (Day 37) - Outside brick picked
Nov 18 (Day 42) - Cabinet place again - Changed our minds of the kitchen cabinets!
Nov 19 (Day 43) - Chose lighting, sort of because that was pretty hard. Still have to finalize some choices.
Week of Nov 24 (Day 53) - Pour concrete base - framing basement - finalize light choices and custom island color, custom hood vent and misc faucets.
Week of Dec 8 (Day 68) - Finishing up the framing and starting the roof. Plywood mostly put up all around the house. It's starting to look like a house.
Week of Dec 15 (Day 75) - Framing complete and ready for siding. Roof almost finished. Electrical walk-through, still deciding on lights.  Electrical rough-in and instal of fireplace. Tubs in bathrooms.
Week of Dec 22 (Day 82) - Inspections. Insulation and drywall will be up this week. Final interior finishes picks.
Week of Jan 5 (Day 96) - Siding, finishing drywall.
Week of Jan 19 (Day 110) - Cabinets being delivered, Trim going up
Week of Jan 26 (Day 117) - Cabinetry installed - Custom cabinetry made and installed - continue trim
Week of Feb 2 (Day 124) - Finish trim - start painting 
Week of Feb 16 (Day 138) - Continue with paint. Counter-tops installed in kitchen, bathrooms and kitchenette downstairs. Install tile backsplash in kitchen and laundry room. Install tile in master bath shower and backsplash. Install lighting.
Week of March 2 (Day 152) - Carpet install. Trim and hardware finish. Faucets & sinks.
Week of March 9 (Day 159) - Slow week at the house. Just a couple of touch ups here and there. 
Week of March 16 (Day 166) - Concrete in the porch and garage, Starting the deck. Starting master shower re-do since they didn't quite hit the mark the first time. Touch ups around the house.  Deep cleaning and paint touch ups.
April 4th (Day 185) - Move in Day!

As stated above, there is still outdoor work to do like concrete, landscaping and touch ups, but since we're officially in the house this will be the last house update. Feel free to click here for the entire "Building Our House" series and thanks for following our progress!