We've been keeping very busy this summer! Here is a peek at what's been going on around here:
Summer Project 1: Building a deck.
We have been in desperate need of "our space" in the backyard. We let Gracie run around in the backyard so she can get exercise....which means we have to dodge holes and poop if we take Collen out to play on the swing set (which was destroyed in a freak storm we had a few weeks ago....along with our fence as well, which is the next project...more on that to come.) We wanted Collen to be able to go outside and have a space to play in without having to always put Gracie in her pen while we were out there with Collen. Why does she have to go in the pen, you ask? Because she is one energetic, exuberant dog! She is a little too loving, and it scares Collen when she runs up, gets in his face, and knocks him over trying to lick him. One day, he'll be big enough to play with her, and they can romp the yard together! For now, he needed space for his pool...picnic table...and a space where we could just hang out outside as family instead of the front or side yard.
Thanks to some wonderful friends....and men who just wanted to learn how to build a deck....we're well on our way to it being finished. All that is left to do is the railings and steps. It's so nice to walk out onto instead of just stepping down onto concrete!
Project 2: Finding bedding for Charlotte. I thought I was picky when it came to Ayden and Collen's bedding. Choosing bedding for Charlotte has proven to be nearly impossible. UNTIL...a kind, sweet, wonderful lady contacted me and said that if I got the fabric, she would make a bedding set for me. WHAT A GOD-SEND! I knew what I liked, but I just couldn't find it in one complete bedding set. And if I found something close....it was too expensive. So, I looked through several online fabric sites and finally found something I loved. I knew I didn't want to go full pink. Sometimes, you can go a little overboard with a little girl's one. To each his/her own, but I love blue...and I wanted splashes of blue to be included. So, here is the final fabric choice. These 2 are the main fabrics.
These fabrics will be used for her quilt. :)
I decided against a bumper pad because I never use them anyway. I put them in the crib to make it look pretty, but when the babies go in, the bumper pad comes out. So, I decided to go with a rail cover instead. I'll be sure to post pictures once it all comes together.
Right now, Charlotte's crib/furniture is at my sister's house being painted so graciously by my new brother-in-law. He does a wonderful job at distressing furniture, so I know it's going to look beautiful! We are using Ayden's/Collen's crib for Charlotte, but it will be painted white. I love a white crib...especially for a little girl. Can't wait to see it all put together!
After deciding on fabric, I had to decide on paint. Charlotte's room is our former guest room/my mom's room. We painted it a darker teal color....absolutely beautiful against the white trim! But, it didn't quite match the light, airy look I was going for with Charlotte's fabric/bedding/furniture. I surprised myself after choosing the paint colors. I loved that aqua you see below, but....I actually decided to go with the middle pink (lighter pink), and we will be striping it against an even lighter pink.
I have plans for the dark pink as well. Our bathroom will finally get some color on the walls with this lovely shade of "berry much." Love it!
Project 3: A desk for our room/more storage. I had been telling Jeremy I wanted a desk for our house. We needed space to store all the odds and ends that end up on the kitchen table or in various other little, scattered spaces. Our house is a bit small...around 1400 square feet, so clutter builds fast. I hate clutter...with a passion...so I set out on a mission to find a "desk." I just wanted somewhere to store stamps, checkbooks, pens, markers, mail, etc. all in one central location. Also, I wanted space to sit and do school work on my computer...if I needed to. So, I went to a local antique store and saw this piece. It was originally a dark wood. We sanded it down, and Jeremy painted it for me. I distressed it, and I love how it turned out! It looks great in our room. It still need a coat of protectant on the top, a lamp, and a few more finishing touches. I love it!
Fun with Collen: Kindermusik! I was so excited to find out that our local parks and rec was offering Kindermusik this summer. I had been wanting to get Collen involved somehow this summer, and this was perfect! He rarely spends time with kids his age...aside from Sunday school...so this was a great way for him to socialize and learn to listen/follow instructions. We went to Kindermusik every Monday morning for 5 weeks. It was wonderful! Collen LOVES music and animals, and this summer's class incorporated both! I so enjoyed doing this with him...it was so great to watch him dance, play instruments, socialize...and be right there with him. So much fun! If you're able to do Kindermusik, I highly recommend it!
I hope the video works for you...
Our favorite part about Monday's after Kindermusik: Lunch dates at Chick-Fil-A and trips to Target.
And Mommy's favorite part of the day this summer: Nap time.
I will confess. Collen had never napped in his bed. Ever. Terrible isn't it? I stayed home with him until he was 1. Because of us being extremely cautious, he slept in our room until he was a year old. Up until he was about 4 months, he napped in his pac'n play, and I usually laid beside him in our bed and watched him. He didn't stay out of our sight very much. Can you blame us? Anyway, as he got older and more into a routine, I would lie down with him for a nap. I loved those moments...just me and him...snuggled up together...listening to those sweet baby sighs. He has never been a good sleeper, and napping with him helped him get more solid rest during the day, which made for better moods all around. So, it stuck. Once he went to his sitter's house, she tried getting him to nap in a crib, but he wouldn't have it. She let him nap on her bed, and he would go right to sleep. So, there it is. He won't take naps forever....so I choose to enjoy these moments while I can!
Collen's 2nd trip to the beach. This year, we went to a NC beach (last year it was Myrtle Beach in SC, which is where we usually go as a family, but without my dad with us this year, we all needed something different...it turned out to a be a good decision.)
Collen is definitely a beach boy! He loves the water, and wore Jeremy out going back and forth and all over the place! We visited an aquarium while we were there, and his day was made when he saw the alligators - his favorite animal right now. I wish we could have stayed longer, but it was still wonderful to spend time as a family...especially before the arrival of a newborn!! I'm glad we have these memories of just us and Collen. We've definitely made sure we have made the most of our time with him this summer...it's going to change very soon.
Trip to the mountains: We went up to the mountains with Jeremy's family. Collen got to visit Tweetsie Railroad! He LOVES trains, and he thoroughly enjoyed everything about his trip to Tweetsie! He loved riding the train...seeing the cowboys....all of it!!
Project 4: Big boy room. Because we needed Collen's crib for Charlotte, we were left with the dilemma of what to do about his bed. His crib converts to a full size bed, but the conversion kit has been discontinued. Note to all parents-to-be: BUY the conversion kit NOW because there is a good chance it will be retired. Anyway, we were thinking we were just going to have to buy a new bed for Collen, but we just didn't have the money for that. I searched craigslist...consignment shops...different places, but just couldn't find anything. Then, one lucky day, a friend on Facebook posted a picture of a full-size bed she was selling. Would you believe it was the EXACT bed we already had for Collen already converted to full size!! How awesome is that!?! I jumped on it and got it! Woo! It's so nice that he can still have "his" bed (and for an awesome price...much better than buying new) and now Charlotte has a crib as well.
The sad part: taking that crib mattress out of his room. Oh, I was almost a mess as I was taking his crib sheet off that mattress and moving it over the Charlotte's room. I can't believe he's growing up so fast!
Here is a picture of his new big boy bed/room. They grow too, too quickly.
We have about 4 weeks left of summer vacation until school starts back. So hard to believe it has flown by! Collen is taking swimming lessons this week and next week. I'll have to write more about that later. We still have projects left to complete:
1. Finish deck
2. Replace fence that was destroyed during storm
3. Replace swing set that was destroyed in same storm
4. Paint Charlotte's room...de-clutter...find homes for the clutter.
5. Have a baby!
6. I'm sure there is more...
However, I plan to continue to soak up every moment I have with Collen. I know I'll get maternity leave with him, but any mom knows that maternity leave is NOT extended vacation. It is tiring, stressful, and tedious. Nevertheless, I still look forward to that time with Collen and Charlotte together. Until then, we plan to spend as much time together as we can. Football takes Jeremy away from us for the fall, so these next 4 weeks are extremely important!!
Hope you are all enjoying your summer. Soak it up....it's almost over.