Three musketeers 

We are about to hit the one month mark since Emory joined our crazy bunch and although I’d like to say that the third baby is the easiest, I have been battling being sick, Haddon teething and Grace has been demanding more attention from us. So no. It has not been easy… BUT it has been fun!

I think every stage with little ones is so different. Alex and I often say that if we knew what we know now, adding Grace to our family would have been so much easier.  But isn’t that always the case? We now look at parents with one baby and reminisce on how calm things were back then and how hard we actually thought it was. Sometimes I wish we could go back and do it over.  I think I would’ve been a better mom/wife if I would have just calmed down a little and not kept a journal of every poop, spit up, cough and blink… I think life would have been more enjoyable.

So, that’s my motto these days.  Anytime I start feeling like I’m getting all wound up, I just tell myself to calm down (in my head it sounds more like “CALM THE HECK DOWN WOMAN!”) and to enjoy these kids because soon they’ll be turning four and won’t want to cuddle with me or be held. They’ll want to run around and say things like “I don’t need help!” or my favorite “NO mama!”

I’m really trying my best to take in these long days and although sleep depravation turns me into a crazy person, I know babies don’t keep and the time will come when I’ll miss all of this.

Emory

three musketeers

This little lady has her days and nights confused.  She’ll snooze so peacefully all day long and come 2am, she’s wide eyed and so am I! Other than that, she’s super cute and tolerant of her two older siblings.  She’ll welcome all her brothers kisses and although he threw a toy at her head last week, we can already see a great relationship forming. She also manages to make everyone around her fall in love with her. We think it’s her superpower and something we’re going to have to watch out for come her teen years!

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Motherhood: Mommy wars and a FREE printable

Motherhood: Mommy wars and a FREE printable

Last week, I met up with a beautiful group of girls for a book study. I jumped in the study a bit late, but we’re going through Mom Enough. The Fearless Mother’s Heart and Hope by Christina Fox, Gloria Furman, Christine Hoover, Rachel Jankovic, Rachel Pieh Jones, Carolyn McCulley, and Trillia Newbell.  In the book, the authors discuss different motherhood struggles and trials that they have faced and are currently facing.  Last week’s topic was on mommy-wars and the impact judgement (from other moms) has on our everyday life.

We are all judged in one way or another and we are all guilty of judging other moms because they don’t parent the way we do.  The first time I felt the impact of mommy-wars was when Alex and I decided to induce Grace’s labor.  We were are 39 weeks and I had exactly two weeks of spring break to have her and head right back to my second semester of nursing school.  At the time, and given our circumstances, it was the best decision for our family.  Needless to say other moms were not thrilled about the idea and made their points known without regards for our fragile state and our decision.

For me, the mommy-wars continued on when it came down to our decision to formula feed Grace vs. breast feed her.  Although I do believe that under perfect circumstances breastfeeding is the best option, at the time, it was not something we could do.  I was in school all day long and pumping at 6pm while trying to cook dinner and cramming for my next big test left me with no time to spend with my little girl and my hubby.  So, we opted for the next best option and looking back, it was a great decision.

Although I have been on the receiving side of the mommy-wars, I am also guilty of doing the judging.  I know I didn’t believe it either… but it’s true.  I’ve said things like “you let your kid eat those crackers off the floor?” or “You’re still breastfeeding your two year old?” or my favorite “Why isn’t your three year old potty trained?” and I’ve given plenty of judgy side-looks when seeing kids roll around the church floor or worse walking barefoot! eeww…

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A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

Thank you guys so much for all of the encouraging words you’ve shared regarding our living room update. Seeing all of the before and after pictures made everything very surreal for Alex and I. We still can’t believe that we bought our first home, and are raising three little ones in it!!

We have been working our way through multiple renovation projects, and last month, we tackled the kitchen.  Hurray!  The existing kitchen was not my kitchen of choice.  However, it was fully functional so we opted to live in it for a few months before we made any changes.

A kitchen renovation

before:

A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

during:

A kitchen renovation

A kitchen renovation

Cabinets: We kept the original hardwood cabinets. They were intact and replacing them would have put us over our budget. Instead, we opted for removing a few of the cabinets and repurposed a nearby closet as pantry/storage.  We removed the cabinets that were above the stove, sanded, updated and painted the remaining cabinet doors. I initially wanted dark cabinets like the ones here, but convincing Alex to go that dark was not possible. We compromised for this charcoal color on all the bottom cabinets, white for the uppers and chose dark knobs for the doors.

Appliances: we kept the refrigerator, sink and stovetop. Initially, we wanted to rearrange the kitchen layout but rearranging the water and electric would have been too much work.  Oven- The original 1960’s hipster oven was a hazard! The first time I turned it on, it burned my shoulder. So, with kids around, we knew it had to go.  We visited the As-Is section at Ikea, and found this oven for half the price!!! Alex and my dad had to rearrange the existing space to fit the new, bigger and non-hazardous oven and now it sits proudly by our kitchen entrance. Dishwasher- We removed both the nonworking 1970s dishwasher and garbage compactor and left both spaces open.  Currently, we have a stool for Grace where the dishwasher once lived and use it for when she wants to “help cook.” We’re hoping to install a butcher block/ cart that can function as extra storage similar to this one. Extractor- The kitchen sits right in the center of the house with no exterior windows, making it very difficult to get rid of smells.  We removed the revolving extractor that sat above the stovetop and purchase the smallest hood extractor we could find. We ran into some wiring complications, but my handy hubby was able to maneuver his way around it. We also had to hire someone to help us open up the roof portion of the extractor.

Floors: Our lovely kitchen had brown/tan linoleum tiles that we wanted to replace. Originally, we were trying to save the Terrazzo floor’s that were under the tiles, but after removing the linoleum, we realized the Terrazzo was stained pretty badly. Alex rented a machine and spent a chunk of time trying to restore the floors with no success. It was a lost cause that resulted in Carrera tiles! We opted for arranging the tiles in a diagonal pattern and really love the way they turned out.

A kitchen renovation

Lighting: The kitchen had a drop-down ceiling with four fluorescent lights. Initially, we wanted to completely raise the ceiling along with the cabinets, but once again the budget did not permit. We opted for removing the fluorescent lights and adding track lighting. We left the space open to add height to the kitchen. Alex added spotlight to the little space that connects the dining hall with the back of the family room and we’re hoping to add lighting above the sink.
Backsplash/ countertops:  the countertops (which also doubled as the backsplash) were put in by the previous owner and although they are made up of a really good material and are supposed to be one of the most durable tops, we weren’t thrilled about their color. Changing the countertops was not an option for us, so we left them. We removed the backsplash that was originally there and added subway tile to the entire west wall.

after:

 

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