Friday, March 30, 2012

Random Friday

     Our biggest news to share is that we are under contract for a house as of today! Yay! We will hopefully close on the house pending inspections and appraisals either at the end of the April or early May. We are really excited about buying our first home! And finally getting into a place after staying in a hotel for so long. Here are some other things going on in our lives.

1. Dream home. Tim and I are really happy because the home we are hoping to buy is in really good shape despite being an older house. We're actually looking forward to doing some renovation projects around the house and making it ours. Because we have been having so much fun imagining what we'd like to do in the house, we've been watching a lot of HGTV for some ideas. I love watching them remodel houses and decorate. My favorite show is Design Brothers, where twin brothers, a realtor and a carpenter/decorator, help people find fixer-upper houses and then remodel them into something really special and awesome. 

 2. Young House Love. I have become almost obsessive thinking about some of the things that we can do in the house. Another source for home renovating and decorating ideas that I am in love with is the blog Young House Love. It is written by a young married couple who do a lot of renovating in their older home. They have a lot of great ideas and step-by-step tutorials for updating various parts of the home. We're really interested in their instructions for updating and painting their kitchen cabinets. 

3. Our parenting style. Hahaha! I found this on Pinterest and thought it was so funny. And I'm fairly certain that my parents would agree. Additionally, all our progress as parents has been completely ruined by living in a hotel. Owen will rarely go to bed now without being rocked to sleep. Being in the same room as him at night sucks. He has been sleeping in his own bedroom since he was about three months old, so this is a big step back for us. He was falling asleep by himself and sleeping through the night like a champ before moving to Kentucky. We can't wait to get into a house!

     Other than that, not much is going on. Living in a hotel, doing our laundry at a laundromat, and eating out way too much. Owen's first birthday is Sunday so we're hoping to plan a fun day at a nearby park and eating out (of course). If Owen's lucky, we might get a small cake from the grocery store and let him go to town. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Random Friday

1. Are you hungry? Because my husband is super sweet and he knows mama needs a break from the baby and the hotel, he arranged for us to go on a date tomorrow to see the new Hunger Games movie. He arranged for a babysitter and purchased the tickets on Fandango several days ago. We will be having the parents of a college friend of Tim's babysit Owen for us. We had dinner with them the other night and they offered to watch Owen for us if we ever needed some time to ourselves. Tim didn't waste any time taking them up on their offer! I'm really excited about seeing this movie. I read the books while I was pregnant with Owen and was hooked. They are young adult books, so they are a really quick read, but I just loved the intense gotta-keep-reading feeling that I had when I read them the first time. And I'm really curious how they are going to translate what can be a very violent book into a movie that can still be rated so that young teens can watch it. I love the casting for the most part, except for the character of Peeta. But I will reserve all judgments until after I have watched the movie.
2. House hunters. After house hunting for two weeks now and looking at several places in person and on the Internet, Tim and I have finally decided to put an offer in on a house. 

3. Shop 'til you drop. Because we came to Kentucky in early March and I consider that to be winter (silly me), I packed a lot of winter clothes and not a lot of spring and summer clothes. Unfortunately, the weather has been really hot here and poor Owen has been wearing the same few short-sleeved shirts I brought for him over and over. So yesterday, I did a little exploring and came across the store The Children's Place in the nearby mall. They were having a great sale so I picked him up a few shirts, including this polo, for $6 each. I also got him a pair of jeans and a pair of khaki shorts. The funny thing though, is that I kept trying to buy him the 6-9 month size. I realized it in the line for the register and went back and exchanged it for his current size, but when I got back in line I realized that I had done the same thing with another shirt too. So I had to leave the line and go back for the right size again. I think I'm in denial about the fact that Owen is about to be one and subconsciously I'm trying to keep him a baby. Also, a ton of their baby boy clothes had skulls on them, including some of the nice polo shirts. Yuck. Who puts skulls on baby clothes?
Tim's mom always buys him blue shirts. And I've started to do the same thing with Owen. 
 4. Game of Thrones. In addition to being my son's first birthday (eep!), April 1 is also important (though less important) because it marks the return of one of my favorite TV shows. Game of Thrones on HBO. It is based on George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" series. I have read all five of the books that have been published in what will eventually be a seven book series. The television show is amazing. All the characters are perfectly cast and they do a really fantastic job of staying true to the books, which is a feat considering that books are hundreds of pages long. The first season followed the plot of the first book and I assume the second season will follow the events of the second book. The television series is a bit graphic for my taste (it is HBO after all), but I put up with it because everything else is so fantastic. The book series is an epic about kings and rival families and the desire for power. One of my favorite things about the books and the show is how the author plays around with the concept of good vs. evil and how it's not entirely black and white. Characters that you absolutely hated at first can do good things and characters that you swore were entirely noble and just can do things that are horrible. I also love the character of Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf. I consider him one of the greatest characters in modern day literature. He is hilarious and smart and charming in the book and the actor who plays him does an awesome job. The show can be depressing at points so his appearances always help lighten things up. Also, don't get attached to any character because they get killed off pretty frequently. For example, this picture shows the cast from last year and four of them didn't survive the first season. 
It has a huge cast. But not for long. People die on this show all the time.
5. Soup for you! With living in a hotel comes a lot of eating out. We eat out between one and two times a day. I have eaten at nearly every restaurant in the area, but one of my favorites is Panera Bread. Mainly because I can eat fairly healthy there. I generally try new things when I am at restaurants, but at Panera, I pretty much order the same thing every time. The You Pick Two option with a chopped bbq chicken salad and a cup of black bean soup. It is amazing. And less than 500 calories for the whole meal. 
Yum yum. You gotta try it.
6. Toys, toys, toys.  Owen's first birthday is almost here and I have been looking around for some gift ideas for him. And I know I've had a couple people ask what to buy for him. We're trying to stay away from any large, musical, battery-needing toys because we have plenty of those already. There was a store called Nico and Lily that I loved back in Washington that had some of the coolest toys and I recently discovered that the owner has an Amazon shop. I've been checking out some of the toys (all of which are battery-free). She has a lot of really cool things available, like the Plan Toys Sit n Walk puppy and the Rubbabu City Life playset.
This pull toy is so adorable and Owen loves puppies.

I love the little streetscape mat because he could use it for years to come with other cars and toys. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

An afternoon at the park

     The weather has been really nice here lately (the pollen not so much), so we decided to get out of the hotel yesterday and take Owen to the park to play. Tim took the day off work because he's been coughing and generally feeling really bad for the past several days. (He went to the doctor and is now on an antibiotic for an ear infection and pills for his allergies.)
     The park that we went to is right next to the Eastern Kentucky University. The campus is really pretty. And the park is really great. It has two different playscapes and sets of swings, one for bigger kids and one for littler kids. We put Owen on the swings, took him down a couple slides and let him roam around the playscape. We also practiced sitting in the grass. He really hates the feeling of grass so we're making progress.

Friday, March 16, 2012


    Moving to Kentucky has definitely been a challenge. The last time Tim's company moved him, I was pregnant so it was much easier living in a hotel for weeks while we looked for a place to rent. Now, we have a very energetic baby-on-the-outside and we're looking to buy a house, which is a much longer process. So far, I have been in the hotel since last Friday evening. Tim's parents drove Owen and I up from Georgia to meet Tim at the Holiday Inn Express, which will be our home for the next month or so. 
    Now, you may think that living in a hotel would be so very awesome.You know, someone to clean up after you every day and free breakfast and a pool and all that. And those things are pretty neat for about half a week. And I'm sure if I was in a gigantic penthouse suite in some big city hotel that the new wouldn't wear off as quickly. But now, Owen and I are both going crazy in the hotel room. And our laundry is piling up. And using a Laundromat is just no fun. And it's actually pretty expensive. The other hard part is that Owen is in the same room as us, so bedtime can be challenging. Most of the time when we put him down to sleep, he pops back up like a prairie dog and then begins giggling like we were playing hide-and-seek and he just found us. It's really cute though, and hard not to laugh when he does it. But sometimes Tim and I just want to relax and watch TV and it's hard trying to keep the room both dark and quiet after putting Owen to bed.
    We have had some fun while we've been here. Owen and I swim in the hotel pool and we've found a local park to play in. Owen's first time in the swings at the park was so very cute. He had a blast. He is also charming all the employees at the hotel, particularly at breakfast in the morning and whenever we are still in our room when the maids come. 
    On the house hunting front, we are still plugging away looking for houses online and in real estate magazines. We have been pre-approved for a loan by a couple different places and we also have a realtor who is helping us look for places. We have found one house that I really liked, but we are going to look at a few more places before we decide whether to make any offers on it. It is an older house, but the couple who own it have taken really good care of it and it's really cute. All the rooms are a nice size and they have recently put in hardwood and tile in various areas of the house. Another great thing about the house is the yard. Unlike most of the other places we've lived... it actually has one! And the former owner was a landscaper, so it is a really pretty yard with knock-out roses and little nooks all over the place where they've set up seating so that hanging out in the yard would be really great. And with Owen on the verge of walking, I really want him to have a nice yard to play in. We have probably looked at a total of six houses in person. (And about a billion online). We had a few more that our realtor picked out for us to see, but we decided not to because they were either listed at more than we wanted to spend or they were really small.
     Tim's new job is going okay. He seems to like it alright, but hasn't really been there long enough to have any real opinion on it yet. I'm sure he is enjoying the fact that he gets to wake up more than an hour later than he used to at his previous job. And he gets home earlier too! 
    Anyway, that's just a little update on what's been going on with us in the last couple weeks. And to end, here's a picture of Owen hanging out on the bed in the hotel room. He's not doing it in this picture, but he has started sitting with his ankles crossed all the time and it is majorly cute. Also, it has been pretty hot here so I've begun putting him in some of his summer clothes, which are 12-18 months size. They are too big for him, but I didn't want to waste money buying summer clothes in the size he is about to outgrow.
     Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Owen is eleven months old!

    Sorry that this post is so very late, but we've been pretty busy in the past few weeks. Owen turned eleven months old almost two weeks ago. He is full of energy and always on the move. He is also changing so quickly. Tim said he was a completely different baby after being away from Owen and I for a week.

    Owen is eating really great for the most part. He takes a bottle of formula about three to four times a day now, mainly before naps and bedtime. He eats a solid food meal three times a day. He is especially picky and mainly wants to eat the expensive organic baby foods. And after tasting Gerber vs. Plum and Happy Baby, I can't really blame him. He is also still a big fan of Cheerios and Gerber Puffs. He has also learned to drink from a straw and is very proud of himself. He has his own straw cup to drink juice from, but whenever we're at a restaurant, he really wants to drink from our cups.

     Owen is sleeping really great the majority of the time. He sleeps through the night. For his bedtime routine, we give him a bath on every other night and then a bottle and a diaper change. We then cuddle him for a little bit and rock him until he is calm and starts looking real sleepy. We then put him in his crib with lullaby music playing and his Sleep Sheep. He will typically cry for between 2-5 minutes before falling asleep. He also does a good job with his naps and generally takes two a day at about one hour each. His routine is basically the same as his evening routine, just shorter.

Other Stuff I Want to Remember:
     Owen is wearing size 6-12 months and size 12 months clothing. He is in size 3 diapers and wears size 3 shoes. 
    He has learned to do quite a few things in the past month. He can give kisses, fake cough, and will sometimes high five and wave. He is very friendly and most of the time loves the attention he gets from strangers. He loves looking at books. His favorite is still "Dear Zoo" because he can lift all the flaps on the pages. He is still getting into everything and really enjoys playing for just a few seconds with something before moving on to the next thing. He likes things that make music and will bounce up in down like he's dancing either in standing position or sitting down. He loves his activity table still and his Poppity Pop musical dino. He also enjoys dumping all the pieces out of his shapes sorter and throwing those around. He still pulls everything off shelves and from inside cabinets.

    Here are the pictures from his eleven month photo shoot.