Saturday, February 4, 2012

80% of the Work

At the start of this project...umm, in SEPTEMBER...Brett informed me that he could "knock out the shed in a weekend."  Here we are many, many (did I say "many"?) weekends later, and the shed still isn't quite "knocked out."   It is, however, a place in which we can store all Brett's tools and gadgets (I even managed to sneak a couple things in there).  Brett admits that the saying of "80% of the work takes 20% of the time" is very, very true.  Here is 80% of the work.  When the next 20% will be finished, we are unsure.  At some point it will be properly roofed, and the siding will be completed.  We like the look of the reclaimed fence boards, so this is how it shall stay.  Perhaps we will paint the trim, but time will tell.

Being that Brett is a very, very proud resident of the State of Jefferson, I made him a sign for Christmas.  This may not be the sign's permanent home, but for now it is proudly displayed on the exterior of Brett's domain.

It is Finished!

It is with great satisfaction and much excitement that I present the last big inside project (until we demo the whole darn house and start over again, just for fun).  Brett finished the cabinets and drawers to our built-ins!  Yippeeeeeee! This little room has come a long way.  What once was a room that we hardly spent any time in has become our most favorite spot to cozy up.  It has gone from cold and blah to warm and totally inviting.  Getting rid of our painted brick and replacing it with recycled, natural brick was a step in the right direction.  We love all the imperfections, plus it sort of mans the room up a bit for Brett.  Nixing the fireplace and replacing it with a free-standing wood stove has been awesome.
We have absolutely loved how warm it has made our home.   I'm in my element with the fire cranking; meanwhile, Brett sweats to death.

Come on over.  Scout will share her coveted sheepskin spot on the floor in front of the fire.  If you're lucky, she'll even let you play with Bert & Ernie...maybe.
Original (little did we know that hundreds of thousands of bees lurked behind that unsuspecting brick facade)--ick.

Stage 1 (bee breeding ground still in tact)--cluttered much? Yes.

Stage 2 (bees no longer welcome)--getting better, but the bookshelves are messy and incomplete.

Finished Product (bees have gotten the message that they will get punched in the face if they return)--much, much better.  The cabinet doors and drawers clean up the space considerably.

Kick-ass wood burning stove

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Long Overdue

Yikes.  What a slacker I’ve been!  I will spare you the details of the last 5 months, and instead give you a nutshell version.  Suffice it to say life has been fun-filled and action-packed.

As I’ve quickly learned, I am second fiddle now that Scout is in this world.  And for good reason!  She is pretty dang sweet, and worthy of any and all attention Brett and I no longer receive.  What an incredible experience it has been watching Scout grow, and marveling at the personality that is uniquely hers.  She has a very sweet disposition and is quick to offer a genuinely happy smile, especially to those she recognizes.  With strangers she’s a bit coy until she establishes that there won’t be any sudden movements, coughs, sneezes, or otherwise, at which point there’s a greater likelihood her lower lip will stay tucked away.  If her sense of security is breached, however, there will be little warning before her lower lip protrudes forward, accompanied by crocodile tears and borderline wailing.  Once she feels safe and comfortable, however, which really doesn’t take all too long, she is an incredibly happy little human.  Her arms frequently flap in the air out of sheer excitement, accompanied by the stringing together of repetitive “da-da-da’s” and squeals.  Laughs escape her mouth many times a day, which is purely contagious.  She has been full-on belly laughing for several months, and I never grow tired of the sweet sound.

Sleep was once a foreigner in this house, but beginning around Scout’s fourth month, Brett and I began the arduous task of getting Scout on a sleep schedule of sorts.  After a few painstaking days and nights we rediscovered our long lost friend.  Oh, sweet, sweet Slumber, welcome home!!  If any of you out there are interested in a good read for sleep training, I highly recommend Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child.  That revolutionized our world.  Scout now has the gift of sleep down pretty well, for which we are ever grateful!  Scout has her napping skill down so well that while on the beach in Hawaii she was still knocking out 3-hour naps (thank you, little PeaPod).  It. Was. Awesome.

We returned this week from Hawaii, having spent 11 days on the Big Island.  Hawaii is very special to us, as we were engaged there 4 years ago.  Recounting memories, with our baby in tow, made it that much more special. 

We did the Hawaiian extravaganza with Brett’s parents and the Petersons.  Brett, Scout and I arrived a couple days early, though, as a drive to Hilo was very necessary.  It was high time for Scout to meet her great-grandpa!  Our visit was lovely, as always.  It was special seeing the span of generations.  Looking back at the quick photo I snapped I am very touched by the fact that the hands that held my daughter are the same hands that once held both my dad and me.

After our brief visit, we drove back over to the Kona side and met up with the rest of the family.  

Having babies along was definitely a new experience for us, as things moved at a slightly different pace than our trips in prior years.  Fewer hours were spent baking in the sun, for which my skin pays many thanks, activity pretty much ceased after 7pm, and the need for an adventure was minimal to none.  We just enjoyed the warm humid air, while watching our girls discover the lovely tropical land.  Scout seemed pretty keen on the Hawaiian climate, especially the bit about being half-naked most of the time.  

While a bit unsure of the ocean at first, Scout grew to enjoy all it had to offer. 

What she enjoyed most about the beach, however, was the sand.  To play in, you assume?  No, no, to eat, of course!  Who knew sand was such a delicacy?  Scout couldn’t quite get her fill. 

Both Scout and Hadley were well on their way to crawling prior to leaving for Hawaii, but time on the sand turned them into full-fledged crawlers.  I can’t adequately explain how heart-meltingly-cute it was watching our little naked babes, with their chubby little bods, and rolls galore, crawling after one another on the sand.

Hadley is constantly on the move, and she is not afraid to use whatever, or whoever, is in front of her to help her get to where she’s going.  Scout is often the means to Hadley’s end, whether she likes it or not.  Most of the time she doesn’t, at which point she cries for help. Is it bad that much of the time my first response is laughter?  With Hadley practicing her WWF moves on Scout, and Scout reluctantly taking it, it is hard not to laugh.  These two girls have such sweet souls—different personalities, indeed, but equally as sweet.  What a joy it has been watching them go from being little lumps who didn’t even know the other existed, to friends who pull each other’s hair (as pictures may indicate, the suspect and the victim are easily identified), babble and squeal together, share and steal toys from one another, and carefully watch and learn from the other.  I trust that a deep and true friendship and bond is being formed at their core, perhaps more of a sisterhood.