Tuesday, June 29

Kylie Walker the Walker

She is walking! It was so interesting how it all went down. Blake, Kylie and I were playing in the playroom, Kylie grabbed a little wooden box that some blocks go in and took 37 steps. I don't know why I had the urge to begin counting her steps, maybe because she looked really sturdy and I was curious as to how many steps she could take alone. Up until this 37 step stroll, she had only mastered the two step shuffle. Since then she has been walking about half the time and crawling the other half. I am so glad she is walking because now she can wear all of her dresses. If you don't have a girl then you don't know how irritating it is to not be able to put them in dresses when they are crawling because their knees get all caught up in the dress and then it pulls down on their neck and gets all dirty and stretched out. She has so many cute dresses so she will be stylin.

Sunday, June 27

Historical Nazis

Living in a historical neighborhood has it's perks and it absolutely has it's irritating downfalls.
When we bought this boxy, white, very bland and in need of some love house, we bought it with the intention of doing interior and exterior renovations. No one bothered to tell us until well after we bought the home that in order to do these exterior renovations you have to get them passed by the fort worth historical committee. They make you jump through some serious hoops. Zach had to make a huge report with essays, measurements, renderings and photographs. This committee only meets once a month to approve or deny the cases and of course, wouldn't it be my luck that Zach was out of town for work that day. I nervously went to the hearing and had to speak at a podium with a microphone to a large board about our renovations. Luckily, my neighbor, Robert went with me for moral support. Oh, and this was televised on cable TV by the way. They passed all of our exterior renovations except for our fiberglass windows. In our neighborhood, you have to use wood windows. Well crap. We had already purchased our fiberglass windows because we had no idea about all of these ridiculous bylaws. Our plan was to just put up the fiberglass windows anyway, "temporarily", and if anyone is that annoyed by the windows not being wood then we would replace them at a later date. You have to note that these fiberglass windows are very nice and an enormous upgrade from the terrible metal windows of yesteryear that were installed in our house who knows how long ago.

It wasn't even the end of the first day that the new windows got installed, that a nosy neighbor came barging in telling us, "you can't use these windows!", Zach quickly won him over with his great people skills and got him on our team. The neighbor and Zach decided that we should remove the stickers that make the windows look new, put our shutters up and make it look like nothing ever happened. And so we did. He warned us of a lady that lives a few streets down that loves to tattle on people who don't renovate by the rules, so we are trying to steer clear of her. These historical people are crazy and take themselves and their historical guidelines way too seriously. I mean, our house looks 100% better than it did. Can't they go pick on the guy across the street that still has his burglar bars up from the 40s when Mistletoe was a dangerous hood? Not to mention, there are houses that are practically falling down and they are going to come pick a bone with homeowners that are desperately trying to improve the property. Annoying.

So you can guess how we spent our Sunday. I pruned wax myrtles in the hot sun, while Zach planted some flowers and rearranged some other plants, painted and hung the shutters and did his best to tidy up the flowerbeds. I took my pruning chore very seriously, I even did a google search on how wax myrtles should be properly pruned. The only problem is now that one side of our house looks super cute and one side looks like a crack house. We could only get to the right side because the left window isn't all the way done yet. We also got our new door, it isn't stained yet, but at least I don't have to live in constant fear that someone will see through an all glass door if I have to dart across the house in my underwear.

Zach speed painting.

Isn't it looking so cute!? He is still out there planting purple flowers right now. And he planted hibiscus, my favorite flower, in the pots on the patio! Oh and please look at my nicely pruned wax myrtle, its the tree looking bush on the left.

Ew. The crack house side.

Saturday, June 26

Another Precious Baby Girl

Look at that squishy wittle face! Regina had a successful med-free birth yesterday and I got to meet sweet baby Arden today. Regina slightly motivated me to want to try a Bradley delivery, but it's doubtful. I've just had such good epidurals that I can't imagine going the other route. I wish I felt confident enough to do it, I love the whole natural thing, I'm just too scared. Regina did awesome and I am so proud of her for reaching her goal of a natural unmedicated delivery. I am so excited for Regina to get to experience having a daughter! Congratulations Hamiltons!!

Concert in the Garden

Last night was had some family fun at Concert in the Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra played music from Starwars and some other movies and there was a laser light show. It was a really relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a Friday evening. We left before the fireworks though, we were concerned that the girls would hear the booms and spaz out.

There were people everywhere. We got there right when the concert started about an hour and a half after the gates opened and if the rows of people were numbered, I'd say we were on row 300 out of 304. It's ok though, we just put out our quilt and chilled. At first Blake wasn't sure about the etiquette of the concert. She was really wanting to run free and look around at everyone else's stuff on their blankets. I put the kabosh on this when she stepped on some kids capri sun and it squirted the mom's butt. The kid was so mad, she was like, "that little girl, stepped on my capri sun!!!!" (in the poutiest voice imaginable). I apologized, but was thinking, get over yourself.

The music was great, not too loud so that Zach and I could still easily talk, the lasers were fun to watch and it was a nice temperature outside despite the wretched post rain humidity. This will surely be an annual event. I must admit, I was a little envious of the childless couples out there with their bottles of wine and picnic baskets full of goodies from central market, but our kids did fine and we really had a good time.

When Zach bought a funnel cake, the girls swarmed him.

Can you believe how curly Kylie's hair has gotten? Plus, it was humid and sprinkling when we first got there so that added to the fluff.

Mesmerized by the glow.

Having lots of fun with all of the light up toys, 20$ worth to be exact, that Zach got suckered in to purchasing for his girls.

Kylie loves to give kisses!

Watching the laser show.

Yes, I know it's late, but if I act really sweet maybe I can stay up even longer.

Thursday, June 24

Maris Kate Walker

Introducing my new niece, Maris Kate!

Zach's brother, Jason and his wife Megan welcomed this little bundle into the world yesterday.

I haven't gotten to see her yet in person, I stole this pic from Megan's facebook. I am dying to go hold her and give Megan a big hug, but circumstances have kept me here at home. Zach got to see her yesterday and told me she is just beautiful and was making little squeaking sounds when she was hungry. I guess after all the madness dies down we will go see her in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, June 23

Party Favors?

Blake, Kylie and I went to a swim playdate today in Mansfield. They both slept until about 9 so I thought we could stay for a while and postpone naps until the late afternoon. We had only been swimming about thirty minutes until I noticed Kylie about to doze off in the pool. She was in her baby float with the shade roof and she was leaned over with her head on the float perfectly still, just floating in the water. She looked so relaxed. Blake started getting whiney and I could tell it was about time to go. I got them out and started drying them off and Blake told me she was ready to go home and asked where her party favor was. It was difficult to explain to Blake the difference between a birthday party and a playdate, and that sadly there would be no party favors today because it was only a playdate. It seemed logical to her, we ate lunch, swam with a bunch of kids, so she assumed a favor would follow. How funny. On the way home I was singing as loud as I could to try and keep them both awake. I don't know if this happens to your kids, but if mine fall asleep for even like two minutes in the car it can cancel out an entire two or three hour nap. To my disgust and disappointment, they both crashed about five minutes from my exit. By the time I got home, got them out of the car, talked with my new neighbor (LOVE HER btw) and got them into their beds, they were both wide awake and for over an hour I listened to the chirping of Blake's voice and a bunch of baby babbles from Kylie on the monitors. I can't comprehend how you could be so tired that you can't even stay awake in the car and then actually get in your bed, just minutes later, and be so wired. The world may never know.

Tuesday, June 22

New Word

Kylie is saying new words from time to time. She has gotten really good at most of her animal sounds, she is signing for more and milk (I am STILL breastfeeding, one day I'll get around to starting the weaning process, but she likes it and I don't mind it so we just stick with what works), and saying some other small one and two syllable words. She has started saying Ommy (Omma) and my latest favorite word she says is waffle (fa-fa). For some reason I think it is so comical when she says fa-fa, she loves waffles so much.

A Low Key Father's Day

Father's day this year was not too eventful, we usually have big family get togethers but we just laid low. My plan was to get the girls up quietly so Zach could sleep in as late as he wanted, but they all woke up so late it didn't even matter. I piled them into our bed where they cuddled and hugged on their sweet daddy.

Then we serenaded Zach with a father's day song. Happy Father's day to you, happy father's day to you, happy father's day dear Daddy, happy father's day to you. After the song, Blake and Zach went to go get donuts. Blake and I picked a shirt out for Zach at Neiman's, but it didn't fit right so he is taking it back. Kylie's gift for Zach was her one year picture that I will scan and post later.

After we were dressed and ready, we went to my parent's house to wish my dad a happy father's day and take a swim. I was trying to do as much of the heavy lifting as possible, so Zach could relax. I packed up the playroom and loaded it into my car and we came home and unloaded it. See, not a very exciting father's day.
Zach is one hell of a dad. It really doesn't get any better. There is nothing he wont do to help me take care of the girls and he is so patient and loving. You should hear the squeals when Daddy comes home from work, they adore him. They are so blessed to have a dad like him.

Now my dad is pretty freakin great too! He has always supported me and I have never doubted his love for me. He is so generous and will do almost anything for me. I say almost, but I can't think of even one time he hasn't come through for me. He also goes above and beyond in the grandfather department. He lights up when he is around his baby girls and they love their G Dad time. It's been really fun seeing him in that role. We love you!!

Monday, June 21

Blake's Prayer

Tonight as Blake and I were saying our night time prayers, I didn't interrupt or add anything, I just wanted to hear her prayer. This is what she said:

Dear God, thank you for this day and for all the little things in my life. Help us to not be scared. Help us to not be afraid. The little children teach us. In Your name we pray, Amen!

I thought that was just awesome! We used to pray a lot about not being afraid so I'm sure that is where that came from. Not sure what she meant by the little children teach us, but it was still so cute.

Sunday, June 20

Live Butterfly Garden

My mom ordered a Live Butterfly Garden kit for Blake and Kylie to do. Blake loves anything that has to do with caterpillars or butterflies so we knew she would love it. I was kind of surprised at how much Kylie loved it too since she is still so young. We had a ceremonial release of the butterflies at our new house. It was a great learning experience for Blake and lots of fun to have some extra pets for a couple of weeks.

Here is the butterfly release:

The butterflies were called painted ladies.

Blake got one on her finger!

Here is the growing process:

The caterpillars came to us in little cups with lots of food in them. They grow up to ten times their original size and connect to a disc at the top of the cup when they begin to make their coccoons.

Blake checked on her caterpillars every day.

We read and learned about the caterpillars and butterflies and their lifecycle.

Once they all attached to the top of the cup and were all in coccoon form, you take the disc out and safety pin it to the butterfly habitat.

You can see the coccoons.
There were four per disc.

Everyone was so excited when the butterflies started to emerge!

Friday, June 18

Messy Home Tour

I keep getting asked to post pictures of the finished product. The problem is, the product is far from finished. You know how it is when you get a new house, you want it to look just right before you show it off. It's not just right yet, getting this house just right very well might take a lifetime. But, that's part of the fun.

Blake's bedroom:

These pics are washed out, the colors of the rug, walls and quilt are much brighter in person.

The kitchen:

Really all the kitchen is missing is hardware on the cabinets and drawers. We have it all, we just need to install it.

Breakfast room:
This is a built in butler's pantry. The chandelier will be taken down soon. It's spray painted silver with subtle blue splatters on it.

We are waiting on the base for our breakfast table. It will be a marble top, the same marble from the bathroom and an iron base, much like a booth at a restaurant. Later I will get a cushion made for the bench.
Dining room:

The ladder is in there because Zach is hanging a chandelier while I type this. We are going to keep an eye out for an old china cabinet and have our family friend/best painter in the world, Susan paint it really cool for us.

Living room:
Red and tan la-z-boy will be shipped to Cal with his El Camino. It doesn't match our stuff anymore and he wants it.

french doors go from living room into master bedroom. At first I didn't like this and now I love that you can see our bedroom from the living room. It also makes our bedroom seem kind of like a continuation of the living room. We probably won't do this often, but we can lay in bed and watch the living room tv.

All the random decor on the built in shelves will be rearranged or moved at some point. But you can get the idea of how the living room is set up.

Master bedroom:
Here is our half assembled, queen size bed with our king size mattress flopped on top. We are making the best of what we have until the correct bed gets delivered.


Upstairs bathroom:
Nothing has really changed since the last post. We are still waiting on getting the tub refinished which is going to cost about three times what we budgeted for and were originally told. We can't hang wallpaper and the shower curtains and the mirrors until that is done. We are at a stand still for now and we are annoyingly schlepping the kids downstairs for baths every night.


Downstairs bathroom, girly, pink and turquoise

Laundry room:

It's kind of creepy down there right now, but I have big plans for my little laundry room. We will be painting the walls pink, the cabinets white, putting on a brown tile countertop, putting a garage floor treatment on the uneven concrete floor, and I found a funny vinyl decal that says "Domestic Goddess at Work" See, it won't always be a deep, dark, musty dungeon.
Zach is in the process of putting these cabinets together so I have a place to organize everything and a place to put and hang the finished laundry. I love being married to a handy man!

Speaking of handy, here he is installing a hand rail on our stairs.

Other pictures:
I really like all the windows, I keep them open most of the time because the neighbors aren't really close and there are some big trees that give us some added privacy. Later, I will put some big pretty curtains in the dining room.

In this picture I am standing in the office at the front of the house, you can see how the floorplan is. Living room, off to the right is the master, dining room, off to the right of the dining room is a little hallway that goes to Blake and Kylie's rooms, the bathroom and the stairs, then through the dining room is the breakfast room and then the kitchen. Out the kitchen door is our big nice deck. It's the best house! We couldn't be more pleased with how it is turning out.

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