Dear Second Child

To my sweet second child Everett,

I am so glad you are a part of our family! I love that I am your very favorite person in the whole world (except when I don’t enjoy being loved so much because I would like to use the bathroom without you crying). I love all of the snuggles (again, except when I REALLY need to use the bathroom). I love watching you and your older sister begin to play with one another. I love getting to watch you learn to do new things, like crawl and pull yourself up, even if it is earlier than your sister did and causes small panic attacks. I love that you are already so different from your sister, and I can’t wait to see what kind person you will be like one day!

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Not only are you different than your sister, but I am a slightly different mom to you than I was your sister. For that, I would like to say I am sorry.

I am sorry for the lack of “official” photos. With your sister, I started strong with WEEKLY photos in the same white shirt/onesie on the same adorable quilt. For you, I have EPICLY failed to even capture monthly photos. Forget about the same shirt. Your clothes probably aren’t even clean in the picture. Of course, of the picture I do have there is a good chance your sister is also in them. Again, so sorry buddy.

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I am sorry that you have to cry a little more to get my attention. It’s not that I enjoy making or hearing you cry. It is just that the toddler crying and whining and disciplining needs to be addressed first a lot of times. There are also times when I just really need to use the bathroom. I do not have the ability to hold my bladder like I did with your sister. I have also learned that babies will not die if left to cry for an additional thirty seconds, but I WILL pee on myself if I don’t go to the bathroom NOW. Sorry buddy.

I am sorry I didn’t lay on the floor talking to you during tummy time like I did your sister. I was too busy making sure the toddler didn’t step on you, lay on you, sit on you, feed you goldfish, smother you with blankets, choke you with unwanted pacifiers, or wallop you in the head with wooden blocks. Sorry buddy.

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I am sorry your room still isn’t completely finished. I know you are obviously traumatized as a nine ten month old by this. I was busy. It hasn’t killed you yet, so it is still unfinished. Maybe you should cry more about it.

I am sorry you have to wear a pink swim hat at the pool because you get hand-me-downs occasionally from your sister. I have just realized more that no one really cares if my son wears pink because I choose not to spend money on something when I have a perfectly good *insert ABC or D here* but it just happens to be in a society-dictated girl color.

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I am sorry I didn’t read 47 books on how to care for your second child before you arrived. I didn’t read a single book. I am not sure how I have manged to parent without all of the “experts” advice this time.

I am sorry your first birthday is only two months away, and I have absolutely no idea what we are doing. I have not spent hours on Pinterest that past six months ferociously planning your big day. Forgive me for taking time to do silly things like eat, shower, sleep and watch American Ninja Warrior (sorry, not sorry). **Correction – we do have a theme. No idea how I am going to do it, but we will call it progress none the less**

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I am sorry I didn’t not spend two months researching and planning out what your first food would be, nor did I make you any homemade baby food or special Baby Led Weaning, perfectly sized, healthy spinach and egg muffins. Instead, I put a Pea Crisp on your Bumbo tray for entertainment during lunch thinking you wouldn’t possibly actually get it into your mouth because you weren’t that coordinated yet.  Then, only moments later do I see you immediately stick said Pea Crisp into your mouth and smile with joy. I am pretty sure Reagan didn’t get anything processed for a solid three or four months after starting table food, and your first food was a glorified potato chip. You are welcome.

I am sorry I don’t panic and run every time there is something in your mouth. I sweep the kitchen daily and vacuum two or three times a week, but there is always food on the floor thanks to your sister. I just pray it is food and move on. So far you haven’t choked or been close to death, so it goes in the parenting WIN column. I am sure mulch is good for the gut anyways. I mean, it’s all natural!

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I am sorry I exercise daily now instead of just a jog with the stroller two or three days a week. I am sorry those workouts aren’t always baby wearing friendly as you would like. I try to do them before you wake up, so if you would just sleep until 6:30 everyone would win. The baby weight after you were born required a lot more effort to get gone. Eight weeks postpartum, and I was down a very depressing eight pounds. You weighed seven pounds and fifteen ounces, so thanks for that.

I am sorry one of your 1st Birthday gifts is going to be the gift that I fully intended to make and give to Reagan for her 1st Birthday, but didn’t finish in time. You can get mad at me later about that one. Fair enough.

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There is one thing I am not worry about – the fact that you are SO loved and adored by us and your sister. Sure, you have absolutely no idea how to entertain yourself because Reagan does that for you, but SHE LOVES YOU!! You will always have a protector, a playmate, and a forever companion. For that you are very welcome, Everett!

Love,

Mom

 

 

 

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Baby Bunching: 8 months in

Does this thing still even work? I guess we will find out!

Well, Reagan just turned two and Everett is now eight months old…and we are STILL ALIVE YALL! We have survived eight months of two under 18 months (16 months if you want to get technical) thus far. We fall into an elite group known as “baby bunchers” referring to families that have two children less than two years apart.

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I remember when I found out we were expecting again, the first thing I did was try to find other baby bunchers on line. I scourged the internet for a blog, website, Facebook group,  ANYTHING that might be of help. I desperately wanted insight into the day to day life of two so close together. Honestly, I didn’t find much and I was sort of surprised by that. And annoyed. I felt as though my fellow millennials had failed me.

Now, I understand. Moms with two children so close together are BUSY! I would like to apologize to every blogger, abandoned Facebook group page, and website that I found and left frustrated by  the lack of updated information. I now realize that you are too busy to sit down and write REAL thoughts! My apologies friends.

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With that said, I want to share a few thoughts for others who may be in my same shoes that I was a year ago.

First, I have survived. You will survive, too! Honestly, the age gap is scarier than it sounds. I really thought the first three months were going to be the worst of it. Now that Everett is crawling, I have changed my mind. Having two fully mobile children running in two different directions will the hardest. Yes, the first three months are going to be tiresome. It is a transition for everyone – you, baby, toddler, husband. I would highly recommend your spouse or significant other takes TWO weeks off it possible. Physically, you will bounce back faster this time (I did anyways), but you also have a young toddler under foot who is used to being the center of the universe. This is where Dad comes in. I took care of baby and myself for the most part and my husband handled the toddler. We were lucky enough to have my mom stay with us the first night or two and lots of friends and family helped keep us well fed the first few weeks. It was SUCH a blessing!

One of the nicest things about having children so close together is that you haven’t forgotten much yet. You still remember how to feed a baby. You remember how to swaddle and change a diaper. There isn’t a re-learning curve, which I enjoy. Actually, now the thought of having a baby and one in school sounds much harder!

It only took all of two days to learn that all babies are different, including the ones you give birth to. For example, Reagan slept pretty well in our bassinet. Everett hated it. HAAAATTTTTTEEEEEDDDD. IT. We ended up co-sleeping the first 8 weeks or so because it was the only way any of us got some rest. Another difference between your first and second child is how much more you trust your mom instincts. I was WAY too nervous to co-sleep with Reagan at that age! Around 8 weeks we transitioned him to a rock and play, and by 3 months he was starting to at least start off sleeping in his crib. Everett also followed a different eating pattern. I nursed on demand with both, but those first few weeks with Everett, on demand was more like just feeding him ALL the time. He just kind of grazed ALL day the first 2 months. Reagan was a textbook, every 2 hour eater.

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One thing I had been really worried about prior to Everett’s arrival was how to entertain Reagan while I was nursing.  Honestly, I made this to out to be a bigger deal than it was. I had really great intentions of creating a “nursing basket” with “special” toys and books she could have while I was feeding Everett. Yeah….that didn’t happen, but it wasn’t really needed anyways. Thankfully, we didn’t have any jealousy issues. I usually only had to entertain her for 2 – 3 feeding during the day. I rotated between TV time, reading books and playing on the floor with her. It wasn’t the most comfortable nursing position, but it worked.

Another thing you learn to do with your second, nurse on the go! Nurse anywhere. On the floor. In the bathroom. With a toddler in your lap. Gone are the days of settling into your “nursing chair” staring at your sweet newborn. You nurse anywhere and everywhere. As long as the toddler isn’t making a mess and the baby is eating, you are wining!

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Now, our first real outing was terrible. By “our” I mean just myself and both children. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing, so I decided to go to Target to get a few things. I mean really, who doesn’t love Target?! Anyways, I plan this outing in the morning so Reagan will be pleasant and Everett will be sleeping. Home in time for lunch. I got this.

In true toddler fashion, Reagan sleeps in an hour later than normal, throwing off the entire schedule. I rally. We are still going to go. I get everyone changed and ready (45 minute process). I am planning on being back home around 12:30-1 in time for lunch instead of 11:30-12 since Reagan slept later. BAD DECISION. We are halfway through our Target list when Reagan runs out of snacks (approx. 11:30). She is now whining and reaching for EVERYTHING on the shelves because she is “starving.” In toddler land, sleeping late and therefore eating breakfast late does NOT mean lunch should be eaten late. In the midst of her whining, she wakes up Everett. Also, in my attempts to keep her quiet, our short Target list has taken at least twice as long as it should have. I hustle to get checked out before Everett realized he is hungry. Of course, the minute we get in line he realizes he, too, is starving and needs to let the entire world know that he may die of starvation! The cashier didn’t seem to hear him or wasn’t capable of working at a normal human speed. I felt like she moved in slow motion, like the sloths in the zoo movie previews. Both of my children are now crying/screaming. I want to cry, too. The cashier is asking me the DUMBEST QUESTIONS EVER.

“Do you want these clothes on hangers?”

WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME STUPID QUESTIONS?! PUT THEM CLOTHES IN THE DAMN BAG WOMAN. NOW!

I didn’t actually say that, but I wanted, too. Seriously lady. Do you not see the melt downs happening? Please, for the love, go faster!!!!!! We finally get out of the store and to the car. I get Reagan buckled into her car seat. I go to get Everett out of his car seat to feed him when I find POOP. EVERYWHERE. Him. Me. Clothes. Carseat. Total poop blow out. Reagan is now screaming. Everett is still screaming. I clean him up and his car seat out the best I can, feed him, Reagan falls asleep in her car seat while waiting, and then I put Everett back in the car seat so we can go home. Whew. We lived.

We didn’t go back to Target for a long, long, LONG time 😉

Over all, having two so close has its hard moments – when they both need you at the same exact moment, when they both get sick (also at the same time), logistical struggles sometimes of cart vs. stroller vs. baby wearing vs. walking vs. every combination of those. BUT for the most part if is just BUSIER. You no longer have the luxury of resting for a few minutes while the toddler naps because you now have an infant to take care of. This also means less gets done around the house. I have come to peace with that. This is a stage of life where the floors will always be dirty. I can sweep twice a day and still step on a cheerio or raisin, but it won’t be like this forever. It is already going by way too fast.

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I am happy to answer questions about life with two under two! Email. Comment here. Smoke Signals. Whatever 🙂

Brittney

 

 

Trick or Treat, Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas!

Duuuuudddeeeee. Where did the last of 2014 go? Seriously? Time is just whizzing by these days. So, lets catch up, shall we?

Happy Halloween!

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The original plan was for the three of us to dress up in a Peter Pan theme. Ryan would be Peter Pan, I would be Peter Pan’s shadow and Reagan would be Tinkerbell. Well, Ryan got sick right at Halloween, so I decided that I would look really silly as a shadow with no Peter Pan, so I took on Ryan’s role as Peter Pan and took Reagan to our Sunday School costume party to show off her Tinkerbell outfit. Thank you Disney Outlet!

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Next up, Thanksgiving!

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We spent Thanksgiving with my family this year. Most of my family is close by, so it’s not too crazy of a day for us. We have one Thanksgiving meal for lunch and another for dinner, both in 30 minutes of each other (yay!).

Merry Christmas!

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Reagan’s first Christmas was so fun! She loved eating wrapping paper and playing with tissue paper more than most gifts, but she has come to enjoy a few new toys as well. Thankfully, we were not overwhelmed with toys. She was also in a great mood all day!! Mood is always questionable with an infant when his/her schedule is out of rhythm. Overall, we are blessed with a happy, even tempered little girl. She is so good sometimes it is weird. Our second child will either be the Devil himself or Reagan will turn against us as a teenager, mark my words.

Well, now that we are kind of caught up, what is new with you guys? I am hoping to get back in the a blogging rhythm, but I have been saying that for months and here we are 🙂 I am also hoping Reagan will start taking longer naps soon which will help! Fingers crossed!

Lastly, believe it or not but we have made some progress around the house with a few things! I will do a quick recap next time on things around the house.

Happy New Year and Roll Tide!

Reagan’s Nursery Reveal

Hello????? Anyone there???? Hi, nice to meet again!

First off, how people blog EVERY SINGLE DAY with a baby is beyond me. Literally, I do not understand how. Maybe they blog while nursing or just decide no sleep is better than little sleep. Maybe one day I can get back to blogging twice a month. 😉

Anyways, Reagan’s room is 97% done! One window valance left to make and two more frames to hang on the gallery wall, but it is done enough! Without further ado….

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We wanted to something different than the typical baby pink girls nursery, so we went with an aqua and coral color scheme with white and apple green accents. You can see our original plans here. The crib was purchased at a Yard Sale for $10 (thanks Mom!) and given a fresh coat of primer and grey spray paint. *FYI – painting a Jenny Lynn crib requires 5 cans of spray paint* We modified the crib, so the front no longer drops down. I made the bed skirt with fabric from Sir’s in Fayetteville and followed Young House Love’s tutorial.  The small child’s folding chair was a $25 find at a local antique store (Firehouse Antiques for you locals). Ryan built in the bookcases and the glider was a generous gift from my parents. The painting was actually a left over canvas from when we were staging our old house. I had planned on painting something for our dining room, but our house sold so quickly that I didn’t have time to finish it! Recycling for the win!

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The changing table was a $20 Goodwill find that also received a coat of grey spray paint. All of her diapers, bath supplies, swaddle blankets and burp cloths are organized there. The baskets came from a variety of places such as Target, antique stores, and Hobby Lobby. The banner was a home made gift from my sister.

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Aqua and coral nursery

Reagan’s nursery is the smallest bedroom in our house – roughly 9’6″ x 15″. We like that she has a lot of floor space right now, so instead of adding a closet door that swings into the room, we opted for a curtain (fabric also from Sir’s). One day when play space isn’t really needed, we will probably add a door.

The dresser was actually mine from college – probably my very first furniture purchase. The wooden table was actually mine from when I was little. My brother even left his mark by carving his name in the table! The pile of clothes on top are all the clothes Reagan has already out grown that need to be boxed up! The collage is a collection of things we already had with a few new additions, some handmade and some purchased. I still need to hang two more frames on the wall.

The roller shades are from Ikea. I just added some decorative trim at the bottom. I have coral fabric to make a valance for the window, and one of these days I will get around to making the darn thing. One day.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed Reagan’s nursery tour. Ryan and I were very excited that we came in under our $500 budget – bead board, baseboard, chair rail, paint, furniture, fabric, built-ins, closet, window treatments, and decorations.

And just a general update on Reagan – the girl is growing like a weed! At her four month check up two weeks ago, she was 17 lbs 10 oz and 25 1/2″ tall! That puts her in the 97 percentile and the size of an average 14 month old. She is a big, healthy, happy baby – and bonus – a pretty good sleeper!

Peace. *Forgive spelling errors – no time to proof these days*

Brittney

Reagan’s Photo Project

I promise I will show you her nursery next. I have three TINY things I want to wrap up on her gallery wall, and I just need to take the 30 minutes and get it done. Soon!

Anyways, I wanted to share Reagan’s photo project with you guys. I have been taking her photo every week on the same quilt (thanks Mrs. Kim!) to see how she changes. I am planning on taking her photo every week for the first year. The idea originated from Young House Love‘s photo project with their daughter Clara and their new little man. I decided to just use the same quilt as a back drop to keep the pictures consistent. I am hoping to make some sort of collage when all is said in done!

Reagan will be twelve weeks old tomorrow!!! I would really like to know who stole my infant and replaced her with this giant almost fifteen pound baby who can hold her head up, hates being held like a baby,sleeps 6-7 hour stretches at night and has already rolled over once! EEK!

Enough chit-chat. You are just here for her pictures, so…. let’s start with week 1.

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So tiny! Look at those skinny little legs!

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We switched to our “big girl” cloth diapers at 8 weeks old. Reagan and I both prefer them to disposable believe it or not. With disposable, she HATED having AN OUNCE of pee in her diaper, but with cloth she will wear them for two or three hours without fussing. We decided to use Bum Genius diapers and bought (and were given) enough to last two days. I wash a load every other day, so it’s really not bad at all. Cloth diapers for the win!

Reagan_9 weeks copy Reagan_10 weeks copyI created a separate page for Reagan’s picture project. You can see the tab at the top next to House Tour. I will continue to add her photos there instead of a separate post for each photo. I will try to update that every few weeks with new photos! Hope you enjoyed seeing how much she has changed over the last few weeks.

Peace.

Brittney

 

Meet Reagan Elizabeth

Well, life has changed a little since my last post. Our family has expanded! Meet Reagan Elizabeth Saffell.

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She was born May 26th and 10:58 pm after a fairly quick labor, weighing 7 lbs, 12 oz and measuring 19 1/2″ long.

Reagan after first bath

Reagan arrived 4 days after our original due date. Apparently my uterus is very comfortable! When the girl decided to enter the world, by golly she came! Labor was under 9 hours from first contraction to holding our sweet girl. Here I am on her due date (and not happy she is making no signs of coming soon).

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We are slightly bias, but I am pretty sure she is the prettiest Auburn haired baby on the planet. Yes, she has a head full of auburn hair just like Ryan did when he was born. So far we have nothing but good things to say about Miss Reagan. She is a REALLY good baby. She only fusses when hungry, her diaper is dirty, or wants to be held (which isn’t all day and night – promise!). She entered the world a breast feeding champ and even lets us sleep some! Right now we get two, 3 hour stretches followed by another 2 hour stretch so it’s not that bad.

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At her two week check up she weighed 8 lbs, 10 oz and measured 21 1/2″ long. Growing like a weed! I am pretty sure she is well above 9 lbs now 🙂

We are so thankful for our happy and healthy baby girl! Also thankful that this momma is healing and recovering nicely!

Reagan and Ada

 

Peace!

Brittney

Updates from Upstairs

Hey there blog land. Sorry for the radio silence lately. Ryan and I have been working on LOTS of things upstairs over the past two or three months. There was a celebratory NO MORE WALLPAPER dance we did a while back, and we shared our plans for the nursery and our master bathroom. I am very happy to report we have made lots of progress in all three rooms! In fact, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know we MOVED UPSTAIRS! *You may need to pinch me*

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If you had told me last year when we moved in that we would be moving upstairs within the year, I would have chuckled and rolled my eyes. If you had told me we had even started the master bathroom upstairs I would have slapped you. If you had told me we would be welcoming a baby in the Spring AND actually have the nursery finished, I would have probably passed out on the floor. Okay, so truth be told the nursery is like 95% finished but close enough! Seriously, we have gotten way more done than I anticipated in the past year. I will admit that a baby coming was a pretty darn good motivator 🙂

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Quick pregnancy update – I am 39 weeks tomorrow and the entire pregnancy has gone very smoothly, dare I even say it has been easy? *knock on wood* Little Saffell and myself have been healthy the entire time, and I have been able to remain active during my entire pregnancy. Last week I even helped Ryan grout the master shower. Pregnant woman for the win! I’ve had a lot of people ask how I am doing all this stuff (laying flooring, tiling a bathroom and shower, grouting, etc.) during my third trimester. Honestly, I feel a lot better being active and moving than sitting at a desk for 9 hours. I actually stopped working three weeks ago (about a month before our due date) and have been working on stuff around the house, and I feel SO MUCH BETTER doing a little, light manual labor than sitting at a desk all day. When I was working, by 10 AM my back and shoulders would be killing me, but my back and shoulder pain is pretty much non existent when I am up and moving most of the day. I also think my height helps make the third trimester more comfortable in general. Being 5’9 has all kinds of perks! I never thought about a more comfortable pregnancy being one of them. With that said, short ladies out there, I am so SO sorry.Being 5’2 and pregnant sounds terrible. You have my sympathies.

Anyways, back to updates on upstairs. So the master bedroom is now clean and painted from top to bottom! The accent wall turned out really cool and all of our furniture fit as planned, with even some room to spare.

Master bedroom accent wall

We also ordered replacement windows for 4 windows upstairs, including the one to the right of the bed. By the end of May, we should have those windows installed and we will have only 4 windows left in the whole house left. Yay! So far, those windows have not given us any issues what so ever. Fingers crossed that continues!

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The master bathroom is still a work in progress. We currently have both sinks installed, as well as the toilet and we are SOOO close to having the shower done.

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Proof you can tile when 8 months pregnant! 🙂

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Ryan is actually planning on finishing the shower up today. Ahh!!! WORKING BATHROOM! Pure luxury I tell you.

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The nursery is by far the most complete room in the house! We even took the time to caulk and putty nail holes – unlike *ahem* the rest of the house. Even though little Miss Saffell won’t be really using her room for a few months, it feels good to have it done for when the day comes. I have a few small things to wrap up (hopefully this week) then I will share pictures!

Ryan and I were both hoping Miss Saffell would decide to come out before her due date (between May 6 and May 13th), but it is not looking that way at the moment. I told Ryan over the weekend that she is just being considerate and letting us finish the master shower 🙂 She is already considerate of others! How nice is that. One less thing for us to try and teach her, ha! It is nice to dream, right?

What have you guys been up to lately? Have you taken advantage of the Spring weather lately? We have tried to take full advantage of the flexibility we have now just to go and do things on a whim like a movie, last minute dinner with friends, late night ice cream runs (totally Ryan’s idea!). Have a good week!

Brittney

 

Nursery Plans and Progress

Happy Snow Day my fellow Alabamians and other Southerners!

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Snow doesn’t happen often in Alabama, so we get pretty darn excited… as in cancel school and work for three days in anticipation of 3 to 4 inches of snow. True Story. No complaints from me though! Ryan and I have taken full advantage of a few unexpected days off and knocked out a lot of our to do list upstairs – particularly in the nursery.

When we found out we were having a girl, I knew that I didn’t want to paint the room floor to ceiling in pink. It’s not that I hate pink. I just don’t like pastel pink, which as you well know seems to be color of choice for baby girls, at least for big box baby stores. I mentioned here that I was thinking about turquoise and coral for our color scheme.

Nursery paint colors

Here’s a peak at what I am wanting the end product to look like, all for under $500 I might add (so far so good!).

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Let’s hope that little Saffell doesn’t hate color 🙂 So far we have purchased bead board and chair rail, material for a built in bookcase, a vintage Jenny Lind crib, a thrift store changing table, some fabric (shown above) and my parents very kindly ordered a comfy new glider for us as a baby gift. We will be using an antique dresser that I used through college in the nursery as well. How does a 25 year old own 5 dressers?!?!

Ryan and my Dad wrapped three of the four walls in bead board a few weekends ago, so next up was paint. Sample time! Not to be confused with hammer time….

Nursery paint samples

I even posted a little Instagram/Facebook poll a few weeks ago. My favorite actually got the least amount of votes! I think part of it was the fact I took this photo at night and all three colors look much greener here than they do in person. The colors show much truer in the photo above!

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I ended up choosing Valspar Pillow Mint 5005-5 (far right) for the perimeter of the room and coral (Valspar La Fonda Flamenco Pink 2004-3B) for an accent wall behind the crib. Here is a sneak peak I posted on Instagram & Facebook yesterday!

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Over the past three days Ryan and I have been able to finish painting the walls, prime and paint the built in & trim work, SCRUB the nasty windows, finish an art project, move all the nursery furniture upstairs, finish a little changing table re-do, sew an easy crib skirt, and start working on prepping the master bathroom for flooring. You read that right. FLOORING IN THE MASTER BATHROOM! It is supposed to be delivered tomorrow – fingers crossed snow and ice is not an issue!

How have you spent your snow days? Did you stare out the window all day yesterday like I did? Kidding. Not Kidding. I am very happy to be well ahead of our pre-baby schedule now!

Peace.

Brittney

ANNOUNCEMENT: We are wallpaper free!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCMENT: There is officially ZERO wallpaper left in the Saffell Residence. ZERO! NOTTA! DONE. FOREVER! I have to refrain from telling strangers in the street that we are done scraping wallpaper.

Do you remember ALL the wallpaper? 6 Rooms with walls and ceilings covered in 4 to 5 layers of dirty, coal dust filled wallpaper. Let’s freshen our memories just for fun.

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The last and only room left with wallpaper when we moved in last Summer was the master bedroom. For over six months, the room served us well as a storage and workshop space. With the addition of little Saffell coming in May, we knew it was time to stop ignoring the wallpaper, along with piles of sawdust and 100 years of dirt and grime, and turn the room into an actual master bedroom. You can read about some of our other baby prep here.IMG_3668

IMG_3667After about a month of scraping wallpaper off and on, most of which was Ryan (I clean & cook dinner, he scrapes wallpaper), the wallpaper is GONE! He was able to finish it up Monday, and it was glorious! Well, the wallpaper being gone was glorious, but the bright blue walls, trim, and ceiling were not.

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Lovely, right? The poor lighting and grainy photos actually help masks the horrible paint color! The color may not be so bad if it wasn’t EVERYWHERE. Oh, and you may notice my little collage, accent wall going on in the photo above. More on that soon!

While I was in Birmingham yesterday for a baby shower, my Dad came and helped Ryan knock out priming the master bedroom. Kilz Original Primer = not for pregnant lady.

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Boom! Blue Gone! Now I have to get to work on nailing down paint colors for the master bedroom. Hopefully I can make some decisions and pick up some samples this week!

What were you guys up to this weekend? Priming party? Not scraping wallpaper? Enjoying the artic blast we are experiencing in Alabama? It was 40 degrees yesterday, and I left the house without a coat. It felt like spring compared to recent temperatures!

Peace.

Brittney

Goals for 2014

First off, thanks for all of the love about the AL.com article, whether that was in person, social media or here! We love getting to bring some positive publicity to Merrimack Mill Village! I actually had a friend in Huntsville who contacted me about being interested in Merrimack when they start house hunting. MERRIMACK FOR THE WIN!

Anyways, any big New Year resolution makers out there? I am not really one to make resolutions, but I do think it is important to have goals and to reassess those from time to time. The beginning of the New Year (2014?!?!?!?!) seems like a pretty good time to do that, so I thought I would share a couple things that Ryan and I have on the horizon (hopefully) for this year!

House Related Goals

1. Welcome a healthy baby into the world. Like, I am going to have to give birth to another human. I am still processing that whole giving birth thing. I understand that my body was built to do just that, but it still kind of blows my mind. And, I can no longer say that NEXT year we will have a baby. T-minus 4 months and counting (due date somewhere between May 6 – 13). In case you missed it, we announced the gender here.

2. Have a place for the baby to sleep. That was probably an obvious one. The nursery is officially under way!

Upstairs Nusery progress

3. Have a place for us to sleep upstairs. No one wants to walk up and down the stairs in the middle of the night. We are hoping to wrap up wallpaper scrapping this month! *Fingers crossed*

Saffell master bedroom progress

4. Create a system for organizing our tools and supplies. We have accumulated quite the collection over the past two years, and the tools need a home. We are looking at 4-5 years before we can build a workshop out back, so we need a long term solution we can both live with. We are currently considering using the downstairs unfinished bathroom as an indoor shed.

5. Purge our access stuff (SO. MUCH. STUFF).

6. Be better stewards with our gifts. We have been thinking a lot lately about what Jesus would live like if he lived in America right now. I am pretty sure he would live very differently than the typical middle class and upper middle class family. It is something we are wrestling with.

7. Consume less stuff. Obviously, we have to consume things like food, cleaning supplies, and hygiene items, but we can limit A LOT of other categories like clothes, house hold goods, and baby stuff. By consuming less, we can spend money on things that matter AND reduce our carbon foot print.

8. Buy used goods more. I do shop at thrift stores and craig’s list a good bit for stuff around the house, but we could definitely spend a little more time trying to buy other things second hand (clothes, tools, baby stuff).

9. Give more – Money, house stuff, and time.

10. Create a healthy and active lifestyle for our growing family. We already consider ourselves to be healthy eaters, but there is always room for improvement. We really want to do a better job of shopping local (as well as grow our own garden) and buy grass-fed beef and free range chickens. Thank you Food, Inc. for that.

What are you guys hoping to accomplish this year? Any goals for around the house or for your family? I would love to hear!

Peace.

Brittney