Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Making a (Temporary) Rental House a Home: PART TWO

I've been wanting to show you some photos of our new house, but before I do that I want to catch up on sharing a few from our Oklahoma home that I never got around to posting.

When I look back on these photos, I'm pretty proud of us for making our OK house work for half a year.  It was old and pretty yucky and tight on space.  Not to mention we shared it with a colony of wolf spiders and various other creepy crawlies.  We had to do what we could with our budget and the short time frame, plus it was a bit of a challenge to find a decent rental house that was dog friendly.  Taking a glimpse back to last year also makes me really thankful for the clean, new-ish, spacious home we have now.  We're lucky duckies, and we're really enjoying making this space ours.  It's nice to know we'll be here for a while and can settle in.

These photos are from the back half of our OK house which included the hallway, bedrooms, and bathrooms.  I shared the kitchen, dining area, and living room in a previous post.

Our guest bedroom was nothing to write home about, but it did the job - we were lucky to have both our parents come visit a couple times each.  I chose to make this extra bedroom a guest room instead of Liesl's nursery to ensure our families didn't have to stay in a hotel when they came out west, and because, honestly, I was still more than happy to keep L in our room. : ) The gun rack pictured was made by the Mister while we were in OK, and it ended up in the guest room due to the fact that he didn't have an office/man cave in which to display it.

The guest room was the dogs' domain during the day when I was home alone with L and couldn't wrangle everyone by myself (they didn't love being quarantined, but they were happy to have a great view out the front window from the bed), so that's the reason for the baby gate.  These ceramic tiles ended up being unbelievably slippery when wet, hence the random assortment of every rug we owned in the hallway.  I ended up kind of loving the patterns together, though, and the rugs made traversing to the bedroom after bath time much safer.

The house had two bathrooms, a full bath off the hall and a half bath off our room.  We would have been fine with just the full - it's the only one we really ever used since it had the shower and tons of counter space.  As you can see from the photo above, one pro about this house was that it had TONS of natural light.  I am a sun junky, and having all those happy rays streaming in was good for my soul.  Luckily, our new house is the same way; it may be even brighter during the day (we are in the desert after all).

I went minimal with our master bedroom, other than Liesl's little nursery corner.  Like I said, that natural light spoke for itself and I mainly just wanted to highlight the big window.  We bought curtain rods and curtains for our room but never got around to hanging them before it was time to move (oh, military life!).  The Mister made our platform bed at my request (and the fancy, schmancy dog bed, too!).

I was itching to do a tiny bit of a nursery in OK since there was no reason to have one in NC (we moved for the first time when Liesl was still tiny and sleeping in a bassinet by our bed).  This space was full of precious items, including the canvas above that my sweet and talented cousin, Molly, painted.  I hand made the bunting for our wedding reception and the bear print depicts Liesl Bird's favorite stuffed animal at the time (that we lost in the park, sadly - if you have a Target hook-up and know how to buy discontinued items on the black market, let me know). I liked the coziness of this space, but I love Liesl's new nursery where everything is a little more spread out since she has a room all to herself now.  Can't wait to show you! 

I custom ordered this print featuring the first two lines of my most favorite hymn to hang over the crib.  It's one of the dearest things to me in her current room, too!  It brings me a lot of joy to see our little one sleeping under these words.

This frame was on the wall in our master bedroom and it's become a treasure to me.  The first photo is from the night we got engaged, the second is from our wedding (obviously), and the third is from when we were moving out of our first home in NC with baby Liesl in tow.  When we arrived at our new home in TX, I removed the engagement photo and added a photo of us in front of our OK house that was taken on the day we moved out (and scooched the other two photos over to make it chronological).  I plan to keep this up with each move - but I may have to buy some more frames because I kind of like the idea of having a photo of our little family in front of each house on display... both because it's fun to see the different houses we've made homes and because I love to see the snapshot of our family at that moment in time.

All in all, even though I didn't LOVE our house in OK, I do love the memories we made there.  It was our home for a lot of Liesl's life so far.  I think we made the best of it, and I'd choose that house again (minus the spiders) if given the option.  I think Hank and Luellen really miss it - they had a big backyard full of lots of wildlife.  Now they have a teensy sandy lot with a pitiful patch of grass.  Poor pups!

I'm glad I finally got around to sharing this post.  Now I can show you some photos of our new house (which I really, really love!)... If I ever get around to taking them that is.  : )

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Liesl is ONE! / Watch Liesl Grow

This news is a few weeks old, but I wanted to share here that our little girl is somehow a whole year old!  How has she been on this earth for more than 365 days??

It's hard to believe that a year ago today we were trying to figure out how to share our home with and care for a newborn.  Our life involved a lot of marathon nursing sessions, babywearing, and spit up.  But who am I kidding?  We're still trying to figure things out!  Except now we're dealing with flying food, injury prevention, and a living room that seems to always be covered in toys.  I loved the newborn stage, but I'm REALLY enjoying this moment.  This babe has so much personality and love for life.  I know some moms say that the days drag on, but most of the time my days are pure joy (check back with me on that after we've added a couple more kids to our collection :] ).

We left off on 19 weeks on my last Watch Liesl Grow post...

Liesl loves -

  • Bananas, juice, yogurt, cinnamon raisin bread, and peas (and feeding herself - she's over being fed.)
  • Books!
  • Stuffed animals
  • Climbing
  • Walking and running (away!)
  • Rocks
  • Music of all kinds and dancing along
  • Bath time (and blowing bubbles underwater!)
  • Dogs!
  • Dave and Ava (an iPhone video app)
  • Making animal noises
  • Being outside
  • Putting things in and taking things out of containers and bowls
  • Peek-a-boo
  • Facetiming
  • Emptying cupboards and drawers (and occasionally putting things back)
  • Sitting on everything that's the right height
  • Pointing to her own head and hair, and other peoples' noses and eyes
  • Hair bows (but she doesn't want to keep them in her hair)

Liesl does not like -

  • Being buckled into anything (highchair, stroller, car seat, Ergo)
  • Being held when she could be adventuring
  • Having her face wiped, teeth brushed, lotion applied, etc.
  • Sitting still
  • When Mama leaves the room
  • Having her diaper changed

We're mostly sleeping through the night now, thank goodness.  We bought a Munchkin projector that's made a big difference in her ability to self-soothe, and I've been doing better about making sure she falls asleep in her room (so she won't be confused when she wakes up somewhere different than where she fell asleep).  Her bedtime is usually somewhere between 8-9 pm and she sleeps till 6-8 am.  Better sleep has been lovely for everyone!

Her hair is auburn in the sunlight but brown otherwise, and her eyes are mostly blue with a touch of green in the ring around her iris.  She seems pretty fair-skinned, but she hasn't been out in direct sunlight much without sunscreen.

She is an expert communicator, finding ways to point and yell until we figure out what she is trying to tell us.  We're working on pleases and thank yous, because she can be a bit pushy : ).  She's strong-willed, but she comes by it naturally.  I love her personality.  She gives me scrunchy-nosed, slobbery kisses all day.  We dance and read and laugh.  A lot of my time is spent doing damage control and trying to find ways to make "no's" stick... She has been climbing on everything this week and it's a little scary.  Now that it's getting warmer, I take her outside whenever I can so she can be free to run and jump and play and climb on playgrounds (which are safer than coffee tables).  When we're out and about shopping and such, she insists on walking, and it's all I can do to keep her little hand in mine.  We had our first busted lip/mouth experience this week when she fell face-forward on pavement.  She does everything HARD (she also comes by that honestly) and there will probably be a lot of bumps and bruises in our future.

She'll copy most anything, but some of the words that have stuck so far are: "Mama," "Dada," "Shooz" (Juice and Shoes), "Nana" (Banana), "Dah" (Dog),  "Nahya" (Nala from the Lion King), "Bah" (Ball), "Baw Baw" (Paw Paw), "No" (No and Nose), and lots of animal noises.  I'm sure there are more but those are all I can think of off the top of my head.

I can already tell that she's stubborn, generous (she loves to share), and generally very happy.  Even when she's frustrated and so mad she's in tears, we can make her smile again in just a few seconds. And people always comment on how "smiley" she is when we're out and about.  We can't wait to see more and more of her personality as she grows and learns.

Happy belated birthday, sweet Liesl Bird!