Tuesday, November 26, 2013

J-U-N-E and the Bed-Jumping

When you're in a temporary apartment, with most of your belongings (and toys) locked away in storage, you sometimes resort to bed-jumping for entertainment. 

Moms may try to incorporate name-spelling in the name of "education," but it's all just about the bed-jumping in the end. (And the asking to watch the video you just starred in.)


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fall Cookies and the Princess Helper

June and I made these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies the other day after I saw the recipe pop up on a blog I read.

Since we're in our little rental apartment, it maybe "furnished" but that does not mean complete. I went out and bought a baking sheet because the one tiny one that came in the kitchen wasn't going to cut it. I also had to buy flour, sugar and all the other ingredients. (Man. I miss my fully stocked kitchen. And spices. Just having spices.)


I was the measurer and June was the pourer. We were both the stirrers because June - despite being THRILLED to be stirring - only wanted to go as deep as the first half-inch.



Yes, she's wearing her Belle dress. She loves it and would not be swayed by my warnings that it might get dirty.


Just as Natalie said in her blog, the cookies didn't really re-shape during cooking, so they kind of turn out in these unfortunate looking lumps. (I actually find them rustic and charming, so there.)


June could hardly wait for them to cool off, which meant that we spent about three minutes sitting on the floor, blowing on our cookies waiting for them to not be molten.



She had to go to bed almost immediately after that, so she only got to sample one cookie that night. (I might or might not have given her one for a special breakfast treat the next day, though. Don't judge! It's the season for celebrating, y'all!)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sacramento Zoo

We went to the Sacramento Zoo recently. It's pretty small (maybe a quarter of the size of the Phoenix Zoo), but still a cute way to spend a morning. Especially with the weather being as nice as it is.



We went right at the height of leaf-change, so I was loving the colors.


June decided that she was only mildly interested in any animals and was much more interested in the randomly placed little "rides" around the park. So while June climbed all over this one, Michael and I got to relax on a bench while intermittently asking her to share with any other kids that came along.



Without a doubt the highlight was the carousel at the end.


She's been talking about it since and frequently asks us which animals we'll choose when we ride the carousel again. Maybe next time I'll throw her for a loop and choose the stationary sleigh. (As if anyone would ever choose the sleigh!)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Sacramento Home

We have a home!

So it might seem sudden, and it all did happen really quickly, but here's a recap...

We've been feverishly searching houses for sale with just the right features in just the right neighborhoods. We got to the point of feeling like we'd seen every single house listed in Sacramento. I was feeling more and more anxious, knowing that the timeline of actually buying a house and moving in could realistically take 60 days (visits, inspections, negotiations, closing, moving), and it was already November and the baby is coming in February! I had visions of us being trapped in this little two bedroom apartment with rented furniture, all of our baby things packed away in a storage unit...and it was not good for my stress levels. Or my instinctive need to nest.

A few weeks ago we started looking at rentals. If we couldn't find a dream house now, maybe we could rent for a year or two, save the money we would spend on a down payment now, and get to check out a neighborhood we thought we liked without seriously committing.

Last Saturday we saw a listing for a rental house that had only been put up that same day. We visited the house the next morning and were pretty sold. A few phone calls and a background check later, and we are now renting an adorable house in the East Sacramento neighborhood, which is super charming and family-friendly. (Seriously, though, in the 10 minute time that we were standing around in front yard, a pack of friendly neighborhood kids rode by on their bikes and a dog walking club went by.)

Driving into East Sac:

Now I present pictures of the house without anything in it yet! 

From the curb (with the house number edited out)...

I think it's so cute! We'll have to get used to only having a one car garage (which is very common in this part of town).

The front porch...
The homeowners have someone that takes care of the landscaping, which is likely for the best. June and I had a moment where we sat on those chairs and I looked out across our new street. It was chilly outside, and the neighbors had all these autumn decorations out, and the leaves from the mega tree across the street were drifting down, I was just overcome with contentment. 


When you walk in the front door (which would be in the back right-hand side of this picture. I took this pic from the doorway into the main living room), you come into this space. We're still deciding what to do here...have the dining room table? Put in a cute desk for my space? Have  second living room? There are two spaces, the one barely seen in the foreground and the one in the back. Love the huge window that looks out on the street.


Here's what I think will be the main living room. (The rooms in the last picture are through a doorway tucked behind the fireplace.)

There's the kitchen in the background, our breakfast nook will likely be in the foreground...

In love with this white brick fireplace. I think it brings a nice dimension to the room since the floors are so dark. 

Speaking of floors, most of the house has the original hardwood floors. There's one room (the converted sunroom) that has carpet, and then the main living room has large ceramic tiles. 

I didn't take many pictures of the bedrooms, mostly because bedroom pictures always end up looking pretty boring with two walls captured and maybe a window or two. Like this:

But there are three for-sure bedrooms, one of which June has already staked out.

Then there's the old sunroom, which was converted and insulated and is now this big old room that could be anything really. Playroom, another living room, a bedroom (it has its own closet).

You enter it through the French doors off the living room, and it has its own door out to the yard. The funny thing is that we are very seriously considering making it our master bedroom. It's by far the biggest room and  our huge furniture set would have a hard time fitting in what is now the master bedroom. It would definitely take some adjustments and getting used to. For example, there's only one medium-sized closet in this room, and it's not directly connected to a bathroom. I don't think I'll mind walking an extra 15 steps to get into the bathroom, but who knows?

We did close all the blinds to see if we could deal with how bright it gets in there. The wooden blinds are surprisingly effective at keeping light out, so we're willing to give it a try. Besides, nothing can be worse than the eastern-facing window we have in our current apartment, which has blinds as thin as paper.

Baby bump shot in potential new bedroom/sunroom! 26 weeks pregnant!

(So by using this as a bedroom, this is technically a 4 bedroom house! Meaning a guest bedroom for us to have visitors stay with us!)

Bathroom shots are also tough to get good angles on. But this will be the kids' bathroom, which I might commandeer for my own showers.

(Not pictured - a little hallway off the intended master bedroom 'wing' that has the laundry space and ends with another door to the back yard. We have to buy a washer and dryer for the spot, which is one of our critical pieces before being able to move in.)

And then there's the back yard. SIGH. I'm sort of...obsessed?

There's just a little patch of grass, just big enough to have a small tutorial on soccer techniques or a tiny game of two-on-two. (BabyShock, I hope you're ready to team up IMMEDIATELY after birth.)

In the back right of this picture, there is also a raised bed for gardening. The owners said that the previous tenants consisted of one of their sons and a group of college boys, and their other son and his wife. Combined, this garden bed has seen peppers, tomatoes and sunflowers that shot up well past the fence. I can't wait to plant some things and see if I can keep anything alive!

There's also a Meyer lemon tree that is positively laden with ripe fruit. One of my first things I want to do after moving in is try preserving some. A coworker gave me a jar of her preserved lemons once and I ate them in/on everything imaginable. You all know what you're getting for Christmas this year! 

There's a big patio, which isn't covered, but has a really cool-looking tree that I imagine will provide lots of shade in the summer.
 

And then there's the shed in the back, or what Michael referred to as the "Mother in Law Quarters." (It's not heated.) (But does have electricity! Don't worry, Mom, I'll get you a space heater.) Because of the tiny garage, this will definitely be storage central. Unless I can convince Michael to make this into my craft room?
 

As I'm sure you can imagine, my mind is going at 100 miles per hour thinking about furniture placing and decorating and Christmas tree locations and nursery themes. Our furniture gets moved in next Saturday (the 23rd) and we have to be out of our apartment by December 1st! Things are happening quickly now and my To Do List is going to be hard to prioritize... hang Christmas lights or unpack vital living items? Preserve lemons or buy rugs for a million rooms? Buy all of the nursery things or sit on the front porch with a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade? Decisions!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The DL on PT

June is mostly potty trained, y'all!

I say 'mostly' potty trained because we're still putting on diapers at night and for most naps, but she is officially good to go during the day. We're super proud and excited to see her not needing diapers during the day.

We originally got June a toddler potty a long time ago, which started a very up-and-down period of interest and general tolerance of the potty. We never wanted potty training to be a stressful experience, and with the move to Sacramento, new school, new apartment, new bed...well, we let her set the tone of how far to push it.

But...BUT. But potty training is the main thing needed before moving her into the next class up at school. And we don't want her to be limited by not being potty trained, especially since I already feel like she's developmentally ready for the next class up.

So we started having little talks about going in the potty, but nothing. No interest. When we took a trip to Arizona, my parents had a little chat with her, grandparent-a-grandchild. She revealed to them that maybe Rapunzel underwear might just tip the scales into Potty Training City. My mom bought a package of Rapunzel underwear for me to bring back to Sacramento as possibly the strangest, most utilitarian vacation gift imaginable.

She LOVED the underwear and wanted to wear them forever and always. She wanted to lay out all the pairs and delicately select which ones would grace her person that afternoon. Problem was, she wouldn't go. She'd just hold it...forever.  Which I worried wasn't really healthy, so I wasn't really sure we should be encouraging it.

I talked to her daycare teacher and she encouraged us to just dive into the potty training. Send her to school in her undies. June'd start going when she needed to on the potty, just like she saw some of the other kids doing. We had one day of holding it...and then the tides turned, so to speak. I picked her up from school the next day, June proudly told me that she'd gone on the potty, and proceeded to show me twice more that evening how well she could do it.

Now she's going like a pro, even telling us well in advance when she needs to go when we're out and about. We're dealing with the same challenges that all parents before us have experienced...wondering where the nearest potty is while we're out on a walk, wondering if she really has to go or if she's just bored at this restaurant, being terrified at the prospect of those icky park toilets where there are no actual toilet seats and everything is wet. So wet.

It's still a process, to be sure. Naps are hit-and-miss, and I'm sure that making it through the night will have its own timeline.

But there was a time when I was reading over potty training advice articles, wondering if it would be years before getting there. All the articles and tip lists came from families where moms were staying home with their kids and could keep their kids home naked all day. So we're glad, so glad and proud for June. Who is plenty proud herself, these days.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

San Fran Weekend

Last weekend we took a short trip into San Francisco. 

(Being so close to San Fran, Tahoe and wine country was one of the things that got us most excited about moving to Sacramento. But don't let true-blooded Sacramentans hear you say that! "You know there's tons of awesome things about Sac other than how close it is to other cool things!")

Door-to-door it took us under 90 minutes to get to our friends' house in the Glen Park neighborhood of San Francisco. 


We crossed the Bay Bridge on the way into town.


We went straight to Jacob and Allegra's house to see them and their little sweet one, Liana. I realize now that I took exactly zero pictures of them, so as a reminder, here's one from our last trip to SF in February:


The guys went out that night (the Sacramento Kings were playing the Golden State Warriors), and the girls stayed in with the babes until it was time for June and I to head on over to the hotel. 

In the room, June asked that I leave the light on a little when it was time for bed, which I took as an awesome opportunity to get some reading in. Of course June loved the excitement of being in the same room, so I was the constant recipient of such conversations as: "Hey Mommy. Hey Mommy?" "Yes?" "Flowers." (She was pointing at a stock painting of flowers on the hotel wall.) "Yes, Darling."

The next morning, Liana was napping, so our little family stopped at Dolores Park to kill time/energy while we waited. 



When the little one was up, we all headed down to the Embarcadero to hang out at the Ferry Building. We had lunch and walked around and bought sweets. 



And saw a crab.



June was tuckered out for her ride back to Sacramento. But not so tuckered out that she couldn't get her 'gloves' on first. (Those are her socks.)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Faux-Hawk

A few weeks ago, June's school had a sort of Spirit Week. You know, where one day everyone is supposed to come in their pajamas, and another day everyone is supposed to wear their favorite sports jersey. One day was Crazy Hair Day. 

So I finally had a chance to try something out with June's hair that I have always wanted to do...and frankly that I've always wanted to try on myself.


How edgy!


A lot of the girls at school had crazy hair. I definitely think girls have a wider scope for craziness in this department. Though some boys did have wildly colored hair, polka dots and all.


June seemed to like it and it lasted all day.


Though I never got around to duplicating the look on myself before pickup time.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fifth Anniversary

Now that the Halloween posts are up, I'm finally realizing how behind I've gotten in blog posts! I've already posted about how our grand anniversary travel plans got derailed, but we did manage to have a celebratory night while Michael and I were in Arizona. 

My parents offered to watch June one night, so Michael and I had a night on the town. 

We went out to dinner at a really nice steakhouse called Dominic's. 


We stuffed ourselves with shrimp and steak and huge, delicious side dishes.


We took our customary picture of us "cheersing - Michael with his Crown Royal and me with my Coke.

 

We stayed the night at the CopperWynd resort - the same place we'd gotten married five years before! There was even a wedding going on, which we peeked in on to reminisce/realize how important the choice in DJ is.


The next morning, we relaxed around the resort before getting massages. It was so nice to have a quiet, laid-back morning!


We were so glad to get to have the night to celebrate. Thanks again to my parents for ensuring that it could happen!