olivia: 11 months!

Olivia was busy this month! She finally started crawling (like a week after she turned 10 months), and her vocabulary has taken off! She's a sweetheart but definitely has a little bit of sass. ;-)

 We are celebrating her first birthday this weekend, a bit early because my parents will be in town visiting, but I'm SO excited! I can't believe it's been a nearly whole year ALREADY!


long days, longer nights

There's a common phrase- that's been around probably forever- to remind young mother's that childhood is fleeting, to savor the sweet moments and enjoy the cuddles because soon they'll come to an end. 
"The days are long but the years are short."
What it should say is, "The days are long, the years are short, but the nights are the longest."


Well, they do, but not terribly well and ESPECIALLY not at the same time. I swear they're in cahoots to drive my crazy. They must talk about it at times when I'm not looking or paying attention (or when I'm halfway asleep in my cereal bowl at 7am- probably then). "What can we do tonight to keep Mom up as much as possible, preferably getting in and out of bed multiple times?" Jillian will say to Olivia. And Olivia responds, "Ooo! I know! I'll cut a tooth tonight!"
"Perfect! And then when you finally get rocked back to sleep after a dose and a half of Tylenol spiked with a little Benadryl, I'll wake up exactly 12 minutes later asking for Bandaids for my feet because I have growing pains and sticking Bandaids all over them miraculously cures me. But then I'll forget to ask for more water so I'll do that another 20 minutes or so after the Bandaids."
"Okay sounds like a plan. Wait for the cue- 30 minutes after Mom falls asleep."

It must happen. I'm convinced. Somehow, someway even through heightened emotions and basically zero logic, toddlers are tiny little evil geniuses. 
And the less sleep they get, the MORE genius they become. It's a vicious cycle. 

I know, I know...all of you experienced mothers who've earned your medals of honor, wearing your dark circles and puffy eyes camouflaged so well by concealer like a badge of pride (or maybe just survival), you'll swear to me it will get better and in hindsight the time does fly and yadda yadda.  You're the only thing pulling me through- my light at the end of the sleepless years tunnel. Because I have no hindsight at 2am. Only "why-the heck-are-you-awake-again" sight. And I've yet to find a concealer to cover that up.


nana came to town!

Last week James was in Washington DC all week for school, and since I have an irrational fear of axe murderers and escaped convicts my mom came to stay with us for a week! ;-) It's not like it takes much convincing for her to hop on a plane and come out any way- for which I am very grateful!

Jillian LOVES my parents and I love that they are so involved in her life even though they're 2,500(ish) miles away! 

We had a fun time going to the farm, getting treats- too many treats-, shopping, and going to the puppy barn! (Yes, a barn full of puppies that you just get to go cuddle! For free!! Whhaaa??) 

It's kind of funny any time that my Mom is around, I instantly become irrelevant. "Nana, can you get me a drink?" "Nana, can you read me a book?" "Nana, will you button my pants?"
"Jillian, I can help you too..."
I guess I should appreciate the break. :-p 

We sure do love Nana! I'm super excited that she and my Dad are coming back in just a few weeks! We are so blessed to see our family often! 


laundry room makeover!

I guess "room" is a bit generous- it's a closet. A laundry closet. One day I'll have a room dedicated to just laundry (heaven knows we make enough dirty laundry to fill one), but for now a closet will suffice! Especially now that it's ORGANIZED!! 

I went back and forth a few times on spending the time/money to redo a space that is seen by virtually no one but me. But I hated it. Nothing was organized at ALL- which starts to give me the shakes after a while. And if all of my effort was only for me to be happier using this space that gets used so often- that's reason enough.

The "before" pictures in their barren, yet cluttered glory:


The first thing that needed to happen here was some serious storage. I took out the random bar underneath the bottom shelf and added a third shelf, which definitely helped in this small room! If you can't store outwards- store upwards! 

The paint color is "sea salt" by Sherwin Williams. It's probably my favorite color. It's like a washed out blue/green/gray. Perfection.
Money saving tip: Sherwin Williams has fantastic colors- but their paint is pricey!! I bought a sample from the store then took it Lowe's and had them color match it. A gallon from Sherwin Williams was $50, and a gallon of Valspar at Lowe's was $25. That's a 50% savings!! 

The top baskets are from Target with small chalkboards I had leftover from something somewhere hot glued on the front. The wire/canvas baskets are from Wal-mart (of all places)! Now everything is in a place. A contained, pretty, labeled place. Seriously stuff like that makes my heart skip a beat.

I really wanted to get a sorting hamper that would go between the washer and dryer, but since our new set was wider- that wasn't an option. But this totally works! It's actually nice because when a basket is full I just dump it straight into the washer! 

I also hot glued chalkboard signs on each of them (3 for $3 in the Target dollar section! Seriously...have you ever seen a better dollar section than the one at Target?!).

The shelving unit on the wall is actually a part of a closet shelving system sold by Ikea. I love it because you buy every piece separately (for super cheap) and assemble it how you need it! Another genius storage solution from Ikea...surprise, surprise.

I always set aside items that need some extra scrubbing to get the stains out, and now they have a convenient little place to hang out until I can get to them (usually Olivia's onesies...). 

The BEST stain remover in the WHOLE world is 2 parts hydrogen peroxide+1 part Dawn dish soap+1 part baking soda. Scrub it in and let it sit for a few hours then wash it normally. Haven't encountered a baby stain yet that miracle mixture can't handle! 

Storing my detergent, bleach, and fabric softener in glass bottles is purely aesthetic. But doesn't it make you happy not to see any giant plastic bottles anywhere??? Or is that just me.. o_o 

Shameless plug for my Etsy shop. ;-) This cute little laundry guide print is up in my shop for only 5 bucks! There are a few other colors and styles too. 

Maybe...just maybe I'll be better at doing laundry now. ;-) 

March's projects won't be near as interesting- a little painting and restyling here and there, but all stuff that needs to get done.

After that I think I'm going to tackle a few things on the main level again before giving the master bedroom a facelift, namely the living room entertainment center/shelving situation. I am LOVING these faux built-ins:

Insert giant heart-eyed emoji. 


olivia: 10 months

Seriously...I can't even handle all of the adorable. 

Not so adorable that she's still waking up in the middle of the night to eat (I AM TIIIIIIRED), but other than that she's the happiest kid around!

I can't even believe I'm starting to plan a FIRST BIRTHDAY party!! Whaa?!?!