Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Since we've been here, I've been peering around corners, taking a good long look at the rooms, and pausing inside a moment in order to assess if this feels like home yet. I've had to be conscious about doing that because otherwise it could all fly by with our heads buried in projects and to-do lists. Even while the house is a mess and we still have so much to do, we can and should enjoy being here together. There is a poster with the Smiths' lyrics, "What I do know is we're here and it's now" and I think I want to get it for the house. It's the kind of reminder I want and need everyday.  

 When I assess, I have been finding that there are little things here and there that give me a flash and a little tingle of excitement because I can see us being a family here and this place feeling like a home - a place that houses our habits and rituals, providing us the space to be joyous and to be together.

In an attempt to enjoy it in the here and now, I decided to slow it down one evening last week. Instead of rushing to put the girls to bed so we could work on projects, I laid out a blanket outside and had ourselves a little picnic outside. We loved it (with Ken's allergies loving it a little less) and it was hard to go back inside. There are many more days like this to come, I told myself

Monday, March 28, 2016


I was dreading having to come back to work after a week away, but once I got to the office and started going through all my emails, I found that I welcomed the distraction from thinking about house stuff. The move and the new house has been taking up so much of my head space, it has been exhausting! Even with the resolve to pace ourselves, there are some basic things that we need to do to make the house as liveable as possible and those things have been time (and money) consuming. 

The week of our move, I went back to our old house to finish cleaning up and to pick up Walter the plant (who sadly, doesn't look like he's gonna make it), and I had to take a photo of our empty living room. It doesn't look like much happened here, but I know that some of my best grown up years were lived in this space. 

After we moved out, there was a space of a few days when we were homeless! Our dear friend Mignon welcomed us into her home for those days and it turned out to be a respite from the storm, and also a chance to spend extra time with her. She made us feel comfortable and she also filled our bellies with meals like this one, which I am craving right now...

One of the things I loved about our old house was the tall spindly trees in our backyard and I was mourning their loss, but the week that we moved in, these trees in the yard of our new place did a fine job convincing me I could feel at home with them, too.

Moving day: I noticed Sloane walking around with this wine glass pretending to drink out of it, and when I asked her what she was doing, she replied, "it's the afternoon, so I can drink some wine now." 


Also, my heart flutters every time Ken builds me shelving. Romance ! 

What made the week more bearable was friends who offered their help, fed us dinner and hung out with our girls for a couple of hours - how lucky we are! This here is one of my favorite photos recently that my friend Laura sent me of her, her little girl and our girls together at a playground.

The girls' room is probably the only room in the house that is mostly done and unpacked. We still need to put up curtains, art and shelves, but for the most part it is liveable and right now it is probably my favorite room in the house because of that rug! It was a spectacular craigslist find and notable, because it is what made the rooms start feeling like a home to me. 

One of the big ways I had to adjust my plan of transitioning to the new house was to make sure to unpack and settle the girls in first. I quickly realized that the faster I had them settled in and within easy access to their toys and books, the easier everything else would be...

...even if their playroom still looks like this and there are boxes everywhere, they seem to mind it much less than I do as long as they have some familiar things around them, including each other. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


So.... we did it! We moved. And we are all here...sort of. In a traumatized, what have we done, but excited, sort of way. Because - it turns out - moving into a much bigger place that needs tons of TLC with two little ones is NOT for the faint of heart.

We are hanging in there, chipping away at our to-do list a little at a time, and trying to maintain sanity and some sense of normalcy for the kids. Thank God for my MIL who turns out to be an expert at many household things, and for friends who are generous with their time and encouragement. 

There is a lot left to do but we are trying to take it one day at a time, while working hard to make this place our beloved home. I will attempt to share updates on the progress when I have some semblance of sanity and routine back.

Christine, house painter extraordinare, over and out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


I had plans for several posts this week but none of them transpired because it has been an absolutely hectic week. Frenzied, busy, overwhelming - are all appropriate words to describe what it's been like over here while packing up our entire house, managing both kids, planning for being in between homes for three days, cleaning, and trying to get as many work hours in as possible. 

In the midst of the chaos last weekend, we managed to snap a photo of us together so that we could compare it to the one we took three and a half years ago when we first moved in. So many things have happened since then - we learned how to be parents, hosted many family and friends, strengthened our marriage, put together a garage gym, celebrated many good things, took refuge during the hard things, learned how to be parents of two, and learned what it meant for us to make a home. 

On Wednesday morning, before leaving for daycare and work, I told Sloane that we should go around to each room to say goodbye to them, knowing that it was going to be her last time seeing the house. Before I got a chance to do that with her, I got caught up trying to finish up a myriad of other things, and noticed Sloane saying her goodbyes on her own: "Goodbye guest bedroom...good job," she would say, patting its walls, "I will miss you...goodbye bathroom...goodbye laundry room..." And on and on, trotting from room to room, patting doors and occasionally kissing a wall. She did each of the rooms and I listened and watched with amusement, while echoing her sentiment: 

Goodbye, dear house, good job. We will miss you...and thank you.

Friday, March 11, 2016


You guys, I'm not gonna be diplomatic about it, I am pretty much bonkers in love with this little baby girl.

She is the size of my chest these days so she fits perfectly against me as I carry her around and she is strong enough to be placed on the ground without padding around her. I am appreciating her in brand new ways all the time, and I find myself squeezing and kissing her in surprised delight at how much love I feel for her. These days, it feels like the baby fog is passing which makes me both sad and glad. It means she is coming into to her own even more, becoming more independent and sleeping more (which means I'm sleeping more!) but it also means we're leaving her babyhood behind for good. She wants to evolve into a toddler, so much, probably even more so because she has an older sibling around. 

Do you see that little pink spot on her nose? That's a spot that is healing from falling flat on her face last weekend. It was mostly my fault. I put her on a couch, got distracted for longer than a few seconds, and the next thing I know she was plummeting to the floor (along with my heart!) She had tried to crawl forward and on a couch there is nowhere to go but down, so down she went, and she had a scraped nose for almost a week afterwards. I can already see it, she's going to want to do everything Sloane does, too early for my liking!

I noted during Sloane's 8 month reflections that Sloane had this way of staring deeply into the faces of people with a serious expression in order to take them in and I can see that playing out now in how she learns. She can learn something by watching or observing and then she will take it on. Logan seems to have a slightly different approach - she is more hands on and seems to want to learn by interacting. It will be interesting to see how this looks as she gets older.

She is sturdy on her hands and knees and up until a few weeks ago she got around by crawling backwards, not forward. Then she figured out how to sit up from a laying down position, and then she figured out this wonky forward crawling motion that she does sometimes - one leg is crawling and the other one is walking, and now she can crawl with both knees like a little puppy. But she seems to prefer using her legs to be upright!

I put these pants on her because Sloane wore these around this age, but Logan's butt and thighs must be a lot bigger because I had to really squeeze her into these. 

She loves pulling herself up and standing up. Even though it doesn't last too long, that seems to be her goal in moving around, to somehow get upright like this.  Apparently, she stood up ON HER OWN at daycare this past week, without pulling up on anything, but I haven't seen her do that yet.

Look at her, so proud of herself ! 

She claps, waves, flaps her arms, flaps item in hand that she has successfully retrieved, reaches out for me, greets all of her with a huge grin, laughs a lot and much more interactive with Sloane. 

The other day I watched as she explored a clean toothbrush I had given her to play with in the bath. It was fascinating to see how she took it in  - she shook it around in the air, banged it against the tub, put it under the water, and then let it go to see what it would do in the water, and felt the bristles over and over again. When she would try to put it in her mouth, I said no and she immediately stopped, which tells me she understands the word 'no'. 

Later, when I tried to take it away, she was not happy and started vocalizing her complaint and I had to explain that the toothbrush lived in the bathroom. "Bye bye toothbrush!" I exclaimed as I whisked her out. I think babies at this age hugely benefit from being talked to; I did that a lot with Sloane and I've been doing that with Logan too. More so these days because we've noticed that once in a while when someone takes something out of her hands (unfortunately, it's usually Sloane that pulls something away, with good intention of course - "Logan, this is how you play with it...") she will get upset, arch her back and cry. It looks like early signs of a tantrum ! But I have found that gently explaining before taking it away and then quickly moving on to the next thing is effective.

I can't wait for the upcoming warmer months of no coats, hats or socks...just you wait Logan, it's glorious.

Sloane took this last photo! She caught this moment right as Logan snapped off a piece of Walter the plant.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


The Clinches are our good friends that we got to know well over the past few years as a family - over Sunday suppers, working out together, and sharing our struggles and joys - and I am so glad they are in our lives. A few weeks ago on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we met up with them at a local park to romp, take photos and watch our kids climb trees. Spring really is coming! ...The day seemed to shout and we let that promise wash over us as we bathed in the sunshine.