Custom Roman Shades with Blinds.com

When we purchased our house one of the first things to go was the yellowed and broken vertical blinds. After living in different apartments for over the course of a decade, vertical blinds on every window is what reminded me of apartment living the most and that wasn’t exactly the vibe I wanted in the house I had just spent my life’s savings to buy.

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Vertical blinds in the master
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Vertical blinds in the dining room

After a few late nights demoing floors and trim with our naked windows and ALL the lights on, I realized that it felt a lot like living inside a fishbowl with no window coverings to provide privacy after dark. So we ran out and bought some off the shelf bamboo shades and threw them up in an act of desperation and privacy. What was only meant to be a temporary solution, we ended up living with for the next two years and a half years.

With a lot of our larger projects completed I started focusing on all the finishing details: décor, furnishings, and you guessed it…textiles. I spent many many weeks pouring over online sites offering custom shades but always came back to blinds.com because their site was easy to navigate and the fabric selection was massive!

I reached out to the blinds.com team and asked if they would be interested in partnering with me on a project to outfit the two saddest windows in our home: the dining room window and our master bedroom window. They happily agreed and we got right to work!

I worked closely with Danielle at blinds.com to design and build the perfect shade for each space. I explained to her the importance of needing a cordless lift because we’re a home that has small kids running around and loose cords wasn’t something I wanted to worry about. No problem, she said. I told her that we definitely needed blackout in the master on the rare chance the baby lets us sleep in and we didn’t want the sun to wake us up instead. She understood that too. And after the first set of fabric samples arrived and the tones weren’t quite the color pallet I had in mind, she completely understood and sent some more. The whole thing couldn’t have been easier!

With 20+ fabric samples in hand, I narrowed it down to my top 5 faves (two whites, a gauzy taupe, a grey, and one with a little bit of everything). I taped the samples to the wall in each room to see how the colors would play with our existing decor and current wall color and even asked for your input on this Instagram post:

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After making my fabric selection for both rooms, I measured my windows and sent off both my fabric choice and measurements to Danielle! A few short weeks later – the looooong boxes arrived! With a few quick screws into the window header (seriously the easiest install ever) they were up and we just kinda looked at ourselves and wondered why we didn’t do this sooner!

Ready for the after? Let’s start with the window you see first – the dining room:

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In the dining room we went with an inside mounted shade in the beautiful gauzy taupe fabric called Cambria Spice. I wanted something light in color here because this tends to be the darkest part of our home and doesn’t always get the best natural light so it was important to me to pick something that didn’t feel heavy or block a ton of light.

We had the shade backed with a light filtering liner which is the perfect solution for spaces where you want the light to come filtering in but still need it to provide privacy. At night when the shade is drawn but all the lights are inside, you cannot see in! Trust me…I checked!

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With the roman shade pushed up, the flat fold design stacks beautifully onto itself and feels soft and airy but still substantial.

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In the master we went with an inside mounted roman shade in an almost tweed like fabric called Navarro Cornerstone. The fabric has beautiful flecks of blacks and greys woven throughout and when backed with the blackout liner from blinds.comit blocks all the light! 

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Another benefit to having black out lined shades is that the black out liner helps with heat transfer and blocks the heat so it stays out and doesn’t come in! For a house by the beach with no a/c, we don’t often need a/c here with the cool ocean breezes rolling in but every little bit helps!

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And with the shades pulled all the way up! up! up! we get all the gorgeous natural light and a direct view overlooking the golf course.

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Such a mass improvement from where we started, huh?! Here’s a few side by side comparisons just to show how far we’ve come:

If you’re in the market for new shades too, blinds.com has offered all my readers 20% off any blinds.com purchase between now and 12/31/18. Just use code HOMEBODY at check out!

 

Guest Bathroom | The Evolution + The Process

If you’ve been following me on Instagram the past several weeks then you know we’ve been hard at work updating our very ugly and tired guest bathroom. Our goal going in was simply to improve the resale value on our home. Prior to starting this renovation, we had made the decision to sell our home in the coming months (going on the market next week!) so we intentionally did a “surfaces only” upgrade to keep our costs minimal while maximizing the resale potential.

Some may ask why we would put more money into a home we we’re planning to sell and the answer is simple is: for profit or ROI. Ever heard of the phrase “you have to spend money to make money”? Our bathroom is the perfect example.

We felt that our bathroom as-is would be a deterrent for some buyers: peeling/chipping linoleum, severely yellowed tub, and a strangely short vanity but after pricing everything out, we realized that if we spent a little money upfront (less than 2k) when it came time to sell it would literally pay off –  3x over!

But let’s be honest…anything is better than this:

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And this:

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And this too:

(See the lifting linoleum? Metal threshold? Heck! The old thermostat?! Oye!)

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About a year ago we decided to host our very first Thansgiving and got a major itch to spruce the place up a bit before guests arrived since this was the bathroom they’d be using throughout the day.

I shared all about the “paint everything” makeover we did in this post which cost less than $150. Click here for the whole budget breakdown of that one.

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I painted the vanity by mixing together a bunch of leftover test pots I had from when we picked a color for the living room walls and that along with some new gold hardware really breathed new life into the old vanity.

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I also painted the walls a nice bright white which really brightened the room but it also made a few things stand out in a bad way. The vanity top and the tub/shower surround now appeared more yellow/cream against the crisp white walls. You can see the cultured marble vanity top and a little peak at the shower surround in the mirror below.

The previous paint color was a warmer off-white so these two features just kinda blended in and weren’t as noticeable but after painting, it stood out in an obvious way.

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So while the $150 paint everything makeover got us through and held us over, we knew that a more in depth surfaces only update was needed.

Since we both work full time and a lot of our weekends are tied up with softball, we waited until the Summer softball season was over before taking a sledge hammer to the bathroom. If you’re interested in seeing how it all went down, I saved all the videos in my Instagram highlights.

If you dont want to watch through all the videos, I’m going to share the whole process in photos below!

This is what the bathroom looked like on #demoday:

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After clearing everything out, we removed the medicine cabinet, the vanity, and three layers of linoleum flooring. We eventually removed the toilet too and it just sat inside the tub for a few weeks.

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We did a dry fit of the hardie backer board:

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Made a special cut for the toilet flange:

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Had a little fun:

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After dry fitting our hardie backer boards we spread mortar down and screwed the boards into place. We also taped the seams and let it dry overnight (forgot to snap a picture of this).

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We tiled:

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And grouted:

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After grouting, we allowed it to dry overnight and then admired our handiwork the next morning:

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Wanna see the VERY satisfying evolution of our bathroom floors? So good!

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After finishing the floors we turned our attention to the walls. We had a lot of patching to do from where the vanity was remove and also dry walled up the medicine cabinet but not before leaving a little memory behind:

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After closing up the medicine cabinet, we added board and batten around the remaining perimeter walls:

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Then I spent the best years of my life painting everything! Again!  A dark inky-green up top and bright white on bottom:

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After all the painting was complete we hired someone to come spray the tub a nice bright white! Goodbye yellow!

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After the tub was sprayed and cured for a few days all that was left to do was install the vanity, new light fixture, towel hooks, style, shoot, and reveal!

But you’ll have to wait for the reveal tomorrow so come back and see the final result of all our hard work above. Hope you’ve enjoyed following along so far!

3 Years Ago

I went in for a routine anatomy scan Friday afternoon and almost immediately I knew something was wrong when the normally chatty med student was laser focused on the screen in front of her and then abruptly left the room only to return with another student to re-scan me. I was a patient of a learning hospital so it wasn’t unusual for the students to perform the scans but it was unusual that the scan lasted nearly two hours. After the second student couldn’t find whatever it was they were looking for, they brought in the OB.

After looking at the screen no less than 30 seconds, the OB on duty turned towards me and said “the twins have TTTS”. It was all very matter of fact. I had heard the term early on when they first identified that I was carrying identicals but I honestly had no clue what it meant because I know better than to go down the Google rabbit hole.

After cleaning me up, they hurried me out of the room and showed me into the OB’s private office where she was on the phone with a specialist at UCLA. After hanging up she informed me that she had arranged an appoint for me that coming Monday to be seen by one of two specialists in CA that would evaluate me and my condition for a laser ablation procedure that was needed if the babies were going to survive.
I spoke briefly with the staff at UCLA who would be evaluating and performing the procedure if I was deemed a canidate. They were empathetic and thoroughly explained everything.

Twin-Twin transfusion syndrome is a rare disorder that sometimes occur in women that are carrying identical twins and the twins share a placenta. Abnormal blood vessels form in the placenta causing uneven blood flow and nutrients being delivered to each baby. One baby is “stealing” blood and nutrients from the other causing one to continue to grow while the other one stops. Additional complications include excessive amniotic fluid around the larger baby with decreased amniotic fluid around what they call the donor twin. I had this as well. They would perform a procedure on my placenta using a laser to severe certain blood vessels in the placenta in hopes of re-distributing blood flow and nutrients to both babies. I was told that the success rate of this procedure was at an 85% chance that least one baby would survive. It was then that the news sunk in – this was serious and time was literally of the essence.

I was instructed to go home and be on complete bed rest until Monday morning. I was only allowed to get up to go to the bathroom. I called Sikmon immediately and told him as much as I could through all the tears. I don’t even remember how I made the 45 minute drive home in rush hour traffic but I did. When I got home, I went straight to bed and we laid there together and looked up articles about the laser ablation procedure, watched videos, and read forums of other TTTS survivors.

I snapped this picture of myself while in bed Saturday afternoon only getting up to go to the bathroom and eat Taco Bell. Just hoping and praying for Monday.

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On Saturday evening I got up once more to use the restroom and it felt like I was leaking some fluid. I thought it was just pee but I called the 24hr on call nurse at UCLA just to be sure. She instructed us to go into the ER and get checked out just in case so we made the 30 min drive there late Saturday night.

3 years ago, I sat in the ER when the OB on call confirmed my worst fears: my membranes had ruptured and at 21 weeks and 5 days pregnant, the babies would likely not survive. Immediate tears and hysterics right there in the ER with only a thin curtain of privacy to mourn our loss and separate us from the rest of the room.

We were immediately checked in, given a private room in the hospital where we would eventually leave empty belly and empty handed. The thought alone broke me. We were given many choices of how we could proceed through the next few hours/days but none of them were choices I wanted to or was ready to make.

Disclaimer: In an effort to open up and be vulnerable, I’m sharing explicit details and photos from our experience that I’ve never shared before. Please keep in mind that each situation is unique, everyone processes things differently, so I hope you can keep that in mind and not judge what we did or didn’t do as you read the next part. While going through this we felt like we were the only ones who had ever lost a child and I spent many months blaming myself, my body, and apologizing to everyone for failing. I’ve only realized just recently that the reason I felt so alone is because not many people openly talk about pregnancy and infant loss. My hope is to share my story so that someone somewhere going through this knows that they aren’t alone in this.

The hospital staff gave us 3 options. They told us that we could go home and wait for contractions to start on their own and then come back in to deliver, they could start me on Pitocin to jumpstart the labor process, or I could go under anesthesia and they could remove the babies with a vacuum – basically a D&C. They explained that if I chose the last option, I would be put to sleep and wake up not pregnant anymore but that the babies would not come out intact so if I wanted a chance to hold them and say goodbye, that wouldn’t be possible.

We listened through our options, asked a few questions, but when we woke up Sunday morning we still hadn’t decided and didn’t know what to do. Sikmon said it was my choice but the burden of making that choice, weighed heavily on my heart. If the choice wasn’t to save my babies, I just wanted someone to choose for me because how does one choose how to remove babies from your body that you haven’t even named? The whole thing felt unfair.

When faced with hard things, I usually shut down. I crawl into a cave, build a wall, and just sorta live there for a while. Come Sunday, I was in full shutdown mode. I had cried all I could possibly cry, researched the internet for a miracle solution, I told God that if he saved my babies I wouldn’t ever ask for another, and in a moment of desperation, I asked the resident to save just one of them. Faced with the realization that this was going to happen whether I liked it or not, I felt defeated.

By mid-day Sunday, I knew and had mostly accepted that nothing more could be done to save them. This was inevitable. I had to choose. We weren’t going to be leaving the hospital with two babies.

Word got out to family what was going on and they wanted to come and visit and although I didn’t really want the company, I allowed them to come. I instructed my Mom to tell them that they weren’t allowed to bring it up, ask questions, talk to the doctors, cry, or bring flowers. At this point I went into survival mode. With a permanent lump in my throat and fighting back tears every second, my mission from that point forward was to minimize the emotional damage for myself as much as I could and get through the next few hours as quickly and painlessly as I could. I knew that if they came in crying and asking questions, it would open the gaping hole I was trying so hard to avoid and it’d swallow me up. If I had to do what I was about to do, I needed to be strong in order to do it and them crying and fussing over me wouldn’t help.

After they left we rang the nurse on call and made our decision: I wanted to be put under and wake up not pregnant.

Some people may see this choice as cold but I chose what I thought would be best for me emotionally. I didn’t want to see them. I didn’t want to hold them. I didn’t want to get attached. I didn’t want to be in physical pain (labor) because I was already in so much emotional pain. I wanted to literally wake up and have this entire nightmare be over.

The doctor on call said ok but that they only had one anesthesiologist that night and it might be an hour or two before they could get me prepped and ready for surgery. I said ok. Resigned to the fact that this was about to happen and I just wanted to get it over with. While we were waiting contractions started although I had no idea what I was experiencing because I had never gone through labor before. I told Sikmon. He started timing them but I don’t think he was keeping great track because soon enough I’d be wheeled back into the OR to have my procedure anyway.

Two hours passed by, and they told me that they still didn’t have an anesthesiologist and were trying to call around to get someone to come in to do this for them because the other anesthesiologist was stuck in surgery and it was taking longer than they expected. More contractions. They offered morphine to ease the pain. I accepted.

By now it was nearing midnight and they finally came in and said someone was on their way so they were going to wheel me into a labor and delivery room so the anesthesiologist could prep me for surgery. The contractions hurt, the morphine had worn off, and I was getting irritable. I had been waiting almost 6 hours.

I was in the labor and delivery room no more than 30 minutes, no medical staff in sight, when I felt all this pressure down below. My Mom was sitting on the couch eating pizza and I think Sikmon was sleeping when I screamed”SOMETHING’S COMING!!!!!!” and then felt a giant gush of water followed by a little plop. Out came Baby A who was miraculously delivered into the hands of the on call doctor who came rushing in when I screamed. 3 short minutes later another gush of water, although significantly smaller, followed by another small plop with Baby B. Words cant describe the flurry of emotions that flooded over me: anger, relief, immense sadness, and fear. It was finally over.

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Because I had chosen to have the procedure, the doctors never checked to see how much I was dialated even despite me informing them that I was experiencing contractions. They too were set in motion for a delivery in the OR, not in the labor and delivery room therefore no medical staff were in the room when I screamed out, the doctor who caught Baby A wasn’t even an OB or dressed for a delivery but she sure did run fast and made it just in time.
I look back now and just sorta laugh that I yelled “something’s coming”. Duh. It was a baby. But in that chaotic moment, I had no clue what was happening to my body, I was expecting an epidural, not a baby. And although this entire process wasn’t anything we planned or wanted, it was everything we needed.

Both babies were born alive and breathing which no one expected. One was redder than the other – another sign that TTTS was in full effect. The nurses hurried the babies off to the side never asking if I wanted to hold them because they probably assumed that I didn’t due to my previous elected choice but after a few minutes I asked if I could and we held them, cried over them, and inspected their tiny features until they passed in our arms.

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Taking pictures was so odd. Would we even want these memories? I remember wondering if I was supposed to smile? There’s nothing to smile about yet your brain is wired to smile for pictures.

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Despite all the emotional pain we had felt up to this point, I’d say what happens next is even more painful.

  • Filing a birth certificate and a death certificate on the same day
  • Being asked how you want to deal with the remains
  • Choosing names for babies before you even had a chance to weigh the options
  • Walking to the parking garage to go home empty handed

Still in survival mode and not wanting to deal with any of this, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I was emotionally unable to do any of these things.

Sikmon filled out the birth and death certificates for both girls.

I didn’t want to make “arrangements” for my daughters but we weren’t allowed to leave the hospital until the coroner had picked up the girls and knowing that I was avoiding having to make these decisions, my Dad stepped in a took care of everything. My only request was that the girls stayed together. He located and called a local crematorium, called and made arrangements for pick up and delivery, and paid for the whole thing.

When it came to names, we didn’t choose any for either because I felt rushed and didn’t want to give them a name just because there was a spot on the birth certificate for it. I wanted time to think and thoughtfully choose a name for my children so when Sikmon filled out both the birth and death certificates we simply put Baby A and Baby B in the spot for their name.

After everything was said and done we returned home feeling empty in more ways than one. After a week of laying around on the couch just mindlessly watching bad TV, we decided to book a quick trip to Seattle just the two of us. We just wanted to get away from it all and forget what had happened. Anything to feel normal again.

The weeks and months that followed were hard. I couldn’t speak about the twins for a year afterward without a giant lump forming in my throat every time. But as days and weeks and months passed by it got a little easier.

There are still moments today when something will happen and we say “imagine if we had twins” or “I wonder what the twins…” but we’re in a place now where we feel ok to talk about them and not totally break down. We celebrate their life by participating in the OC Walk to Remember every October and year will be our 4th year walking in their honor!

The biggest advice I can give anyone going through something similar is to give yourself grace. Allow yourself to cry whenever, wherever the tears start flowing and find a support outlet. The biggest thing I did for myself was get involved in the walk. As sad as it is to see all the families there who have lost babies it’s strangely comforting to know that I wasn’t alone in my loss and in my grief. If you’re struggling through something like this today, I hope my words bring you a little comfort. You are not alone and happiness is on the other side!

Surviving Newborn Sleep

Whenever you have a new baby, sleep is always a hot topic. I can’t tell you how many times I Googled something related to sleep or sleep schedules – there were many desperate nights early on!

As a new Mom, I really was ill prepared for newborn sleep. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t know the difference between co-sleeping or bed sharing; I was clueless. I knew that the universal recommendation is that parents and newborn children sleep in close proximity to one another and I don’t know why but my entire pregnancy I was blindly focused on getting the nursery ready for the baby. I literally didn’t give a single to thought into where she would sleep and what she would sleep in when we brought her home. I guess I just assumed she’d sleep in the stupid expensive crib we bought her! 

That first night was rough. I cried because she was crying and I had no clue how to get her to sleep. I remember sitting with her in the nursery at 1 am, lights on (wrong!), and I was just praying for sleep. When she finally fell asleep, I laid her in the crib (we didn’t have an alternative) and I tried sleeping on the floor next to her crib. Needless to say, neither of us slept well and I knew I had to figure out another sleeping arrangement or I’d never survive. All I wanted was restful sleep – who doesn’t? – because I am not someone who functions well when I’m exhausted. Plus! I was violently ill for 3 weeks postpartum and constantly felt nauseous – not even Zofran helped.

After our really bad first night, Sikmon and I took turns sleeping on the couch with the baby while the other slept in bed. He took the late shift (11pm-3am) and I took the early shift (3am-7am). Doing this helped him get some sleep before work, and helped my body recover from vomitting all day. It worked well but it meant that whoever had the baby slept on the couch like this:

 

After my sickness finally wore off a few weeks later (maybe one day I’ll feel ok enough to blog about it), I started laying her down to sleep in this bassinet next to our bed that we purchased second hand from a co-worker. We used the bassinet for maybe two months and it was ok. It was nice to sleep in the bed again but I really didn’t love it. I worried so much every time she slept in it – so much so that she’d sleep for several hour stretches but I was up and awake every hour checking on her. Was she cold? Was she breathing? She felt so far away even though she wasn’t. I was a paranoid mess.

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That’s when we started bed-sharing and that’s when Sikmon got booted to the couch. Poor him – he slept on the couch for an entire year! Emie was 3-4 months old and as soon as we started bed-sharing, I was finally able to get good stretches of sleep again. I basically kicked Sikmon out of our room and our Cal-King bed so Emie and I could sleep together. Something about her sleeping right next to me gave me so much more peace of mind than when she was in the bassinet. We slept this way until she was about 5 months old.

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At 5 months we brought her crib into our room and transitioned her out of our bed and into the crib at the recommendation of our pediatrician. At that point she was a lot more mobile, rolling over and scooting, and I worried that she’d roll off the bed in the middle of the night. The transition to the crib was effortless and it helped us both gain some independence and longer stretches of sleep! Emie didn’t sleep through the night until she was 8-9 months old though – another reason Sikmon continued sleeping on the couch during this time – but moving her into the crib once again gave me the peace of mind to sleep soundly during the stretches that she did. And looking back, I question why we never moved her crib in here from the get-go?!

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When Emie turned a year old I had every intention to move her into the nursery and Sikmon back into our bed but a few things hung me up.

I was way too attached to our sleeping arrangement. It comforted me to have her close by but as she got older I think it hindered her sleep (and mine) more than it benefitted either of us. She’s a pretty great sleeper overall but I started noticing that she’d wake up in the middle of the night and would just sit there staring at me (laying in the bed) because she knew I was there. I knew she wasn’t sick, hungry, or wet because if I laid still enough she’d fall back asleep without issue – almost like mama, is that you?

Also…because both Sikmon and I work outside the house, our alarms would go off well before her wake time and we’d quickly silence them but on occasion our getting ready routine would wake her. Over the last 17 months we both got pretty good at dressing in the dark, we’d shower in the guest bathroom, but every once in a while she’d get woken up and be up all kinds of angry.

Aside from that, the main reason I held off for so long is that she has no doors on the main passage in and out of her room and I was concerned about light and sound passing through and disturbing her sleep. But after our recent announcement that we’re planning to sell our house in the coming months, the truth is this: it was safe to do so, Sikmon wanted to sleep in a real bed again, we need to put our house back together in order to sell / take listing photos, so back into the nursery she goes – doors or no doors.

About a month ago I dragged her crib into the nursery and haven’t looked back. I did it right after she woke up on a Monday morning so she could take her naps in there before having to sleep in the nursery overnight. That first day we talked a lot about sleeping in the nursery and how exciting it was going to be. Before her first nap, I allowed her to read books in her crib. I wanted her to get used to being in the crib in a new environment and also see that everything else – the crib, the sheets, the sound machine – was exactly the same as it had always been.

So far it’s been a massive success. It was a much easier and smoother transition than I ever expected and not having any doors hasn’t been an issue at all. We have heavy drapes on either side of the door way and just draw them closed during naps and bedtime. We keep an eye on her with our Yi Home camera that’s mounted on an adjacent wall over looking the crib. If we do hear her cry out in the middle of the night, I can just pick up my phone and watch for a few minutes to see what’s going.

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She sleeps between 11-12 hours a night and at 17 months old, is still taking 1-2 naps a day. We have a pretty consistent bed time routine and making sure all the major parts of her routine remained the same have been a huge help with keeping her sleep on track despite the transition.

I honestly still really miss sleeping with her in the same room but I know we’re both not only sleeping better – but Emie is sleeping longer! I call that a #momwin.

 

Our Favorite Children’s Books

Books are a huge hit around here these days, in fact, we have two overflowing baskets full of them in the nursery that we’re constantly digging through. When Emie got a little older, we moved all her books to a couple of rope baskets on the floor instead of shelves on the wall we had previously. I love that this puts the books at her level and makes it so she’s able to reach for them as often as she wants. We sit and read through multiple books every day and already she’s developed quite a few favorites. You know it’s a favorite when at the end she says “Again, Mama!”.

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Here’s the 10 books we reach for most often:

First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

A big book full of colorful pictures of everyday objects in a baby’s world. We easily spend 30 minutes going page by page pointing out things she recognizes. Helps build vocabulary too!

In my Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek

I love the premise behind this book; walking through many different feelings and emotions your child may experience at some point. The book does a great job at explaining what each feeling feels like in an approachable way.

Three Little Mermaids by Mara Van Fleet

A fun interactive book about mermaids and underwater friends with pull tabs and touchy-feely features on every page. We liked it so much, we bought two!

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet

An imaginative book about mixing colors without the mess!

My First Baby Animals Book by DK Publishing

This tabbed board book is great for in the car. The pages are FULL of cute little baby animals and animal families of all types. There’s so much to look at, I can usually get where I’m going without a peep if she’s “reading” this one. We love it so much, I just ordered this one and this one.

My Big Day Busy Book by Curious Columbus

This interactive soft book is full of great activities to keep your child busy while helping to develop their fine motor skills. Activities include: brushing teeth, tying shoelaces, getting dressed, color matching, buttoning, buckling, and zipping.

The Nose Book by Al Perkins 

We have the mini version of this book (great to carry around in the diaper bag) and since we’re right in the thick of learning all about body parts these days, she’s very intrigued by all the different types of noses you encounter throughout the story! They even have a foot book, eye book, and ear book too!

 

 

 

In Case You Haven’t Heard…

I’m not sure whether to be excited or nervous as hell but after 2+ years we’ve decided to put our house on the market. It’s strange to be at this junction when not too long ago if you had asked me, I would’ve said that our plans were to stay here for the next 3-5 years. In fact, a few weeks ago we were getting ready to refi, pull money out, and completely gut reno the kitchen and both bathrooms but! I woke up one day and something had changed – I was ready to sell.

In truth…while I’ve always loved our home, Sikmon hasn’t. In a lot of way he feels like we hastily purchased this place in a desperate attempt to find, buy, and close on a house before the lease on our apartment was up. We began house shopping about 3 months before our lease was about to end, put in several offers but were beat out for various reasons. When we found this place, it had just come back onto the market after falling out of escrow itself, we were tired of looking, it was in our price range, it had potential, and we were cutting it close on time. I remember feeling the pressure to find a house and close on time so when we toured this house, I was like…this’ll do. It had all of our basic needs but nothing on our “want” list. I could tell that Sikmon wasn’t emotionally invested in this house when during the walk through he spent the entire time out on the deck talking to the realtor. He spent maaaaybe 5 minutes looking at the actual house but I liked it and that was all that really mattered to him.

After a very rough and frustrating closing where we had to completely restructure the loan at the last minute or we’d lose the house, we miraculously closed 1 day before our lease ended. Talk about pressure cooker. So while I’ve grown to love it, have always seen the potential, and have enjoyed fixing it up, he’s always felt like we settled and in a lot of ways, I think he was right. I look back now at all the obstacles we had to overcome to close on this house and it feels like it was a sign that we (or maybe just me) ignored.

Despite all that though, I’ve always been so deadest on staying until our daughter started to school – just ask Sikmon. He’s been casually tossing out the “we should sell” conversation for over a year now and I’ve been totally against it. Until now. The longer we live here the more obvious it’s become that we need a house better suited for our family – not necessarily bigger…but we need a driveway to wash cars, a yard to run around in, and A/C (!!) just to name a few. I’ll do another post about exactly what we’re looking for in our next house plus how we’re planning to prep this one to sell but what I do know is that there’s no rush this time around.

Now that the Summer softball season is over, we’ll be using the break between All-Star season and Fall season to do some minor repairs, touch up paint, and finish up some lingering projects before we list. We’ll probably be in the position of having to have sold our house first (or at least be under contract) before being able to put in offers of our own. The market here in California is tough and a lot of buyers come with all cash offers so in order to stand a chance, we don’t want to put in offers with the contingency of having to sell our home first before we can buy. This will probably mean that we may to move into an apartment during the interium and/or rent back our house from the new owners. However it shakes out, I’m excited for what’s ahead.

Here’s a few before & after’s just for fun:

Entry

Entry Reveal

Guest Bath

Mini Refresh

Guest Bath Sources

Living Room

Built-Ins Part 1

Built-Ins Part 2

Master Bedroom

MB collage

Nursery

Nursery Reveal

Nursery Sources

Nursery Closet Re-Work

Nursery Closet Organization

Tween Bedroom

Sun Room

Most Expensive House Purchase

Sun Room Updates

Loving Lately: Storage Baskets

Baskets and bins are my only saving grace around here. The areas where I haven’t put an organizational system into place are the areas that look the worst and it shows. A couple of baskets or bins go a long way to keep my home looking tidy most days so I wanted to share the few areas around my home that have really benefitted from the addition of storage bins plus share the bins and baskets that I’m loving lately since it seems I’m always on the hunt for a great storage solution!

The fabric bins I scored at HomeGoods have come in clutch to corral all the toys in our living room built-ins and the rope basket on the floor hold toys reached for most often.

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In the nursery closet we have an assortment of fabric bins from HomeGoods, Marshalls, and Target that really keep things in check. We added the shelving on the left and the added storage potential quadrupled.

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I even have a small bin tucked neatly behind the passenger seat of my car (just under the car seat) to help keep all the car toys contained.

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In my constant battle to conquer home organization, here’s all the bins and baskets I’m currently loving:Publication1

  1. Black and White Rope Basket 2. Gold Basket 3. Rattan Zig-Zag Basket 4. Pom-Pom Basket 5. Dot Bin 6. Wire Basket 7. Stitched Basket 8. Dipped Basket 9. Belly Basket 10. Felt Cube 11. Seagrass Basket 12. Woven Felt Bin 13. Braided Basket