Three Months of Life

My sweet baby will be four months old tomorrow, and I never posted his three-month pictures. We took these on his three-month birthday, which was the first full day of fall.

A few things I want to remember…

He has changed so much this month, and he’s growing like crazy. Seriously, he’s huge! He weighed 17 pounds at three months, and he is still very long. He’s showing more and more personality. He’s easy going, just like his big brother was. Also like his brother, he rarely cries unless he’s really tired or really hungry. He gives us lots of smiles and happy noises, but I’ve only heard him truly laugh a few times. He started rolling and grabbing his feet the week he turned three months, so he’s a pro at it now. I haven’t seen him manage to get his toes in his mouth yet, and judging by his long body and relatively short legs, that may be a very difficult maneuver. He still isn’t interested in a pacifier unless he’s unusually upset. I continue to offer him one every once in a while, but he usually just chews on it a little and spits it out. He also likes to chew on his hands. I’m guessing he’s going to be an early teether like brother. He doesn’t like the bottle, which is very inconvenient for the few times that I need to work on location or attend meetings for more than an hour or two. I guess he’ll figure it out if he gets hungry enough, but it doesn’t make it much fun for whoever is taking care of him.

And that’s about it for shots of him alone. Usually his brother is right there to love on him and help take care of him.

Tice loves him so much. My heart swells watching them together. I’ve said this before, but Tice was meant to be a big brother. He’s so entertaining, and Slade is always more content when Tice is around. It makes it easier for me to get things done around the house, because I’m not Slade’s only source for socializing. He’s such a good helper!

Tice still has trouble with his “L” sound, so he calls Slade “Swade.” I hear “Swade” and “Wittle Man” so often that I catch myself starting to call him those, too!

Tice and that darn hat! I guess I need to find him a new one that’s similar so we can retire this one. He wanted to wear it since Slade was wearing his.

Slade was still pretty wobbly in the seat, but Tice was so gentle and kept his hand behind his little brother to add just enough support. And he couldn’t resist kissing him–sometimes he’s such a good little subject to photograph! And sometimes he does stuff like this…

He was just dying to squeeze into that baby seat so I could take some pictures of him. So I let him. Sometimes the best way to get good pictures is to give them plenty of time to do what they want. And I always try to oblige when he asks me to take a picture of him–I think it helps him to be more willing and cooperative when I ask him to take the pictures I want to take. I knew these wouldn’t be framers, but they are fun.

Once he got that silliness out of his system, he cooperated for these…

Again, Tice had to support his little brother for these pictures. He’s only three and a half, but he’s already a strong shoulder for Slade to lean on. I pray that they always have each other to depend on. They’re off to a good start.

I love them so.

–Natalie

 

 

 

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The Truffle Shuffle

Tice used smile sweetly for pictures. Now, he thinks it’s hilarious to make silly faces or do weird little dances. This one resembles the Truffle Shuffle. I promise I did not teach my kid the Truffle Shuffle.

If you’re too old or too young to know what the Truffle Shuffle is, you’re missing a great piece of ’80s American cinema.

And here are a few precursors to his perfected shuffle…

Happy Friday!

–Natalie

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The Elephant in the (Play)Room

It’s time to address the elephant. It’s actually a piano that weighs as much as an elephant. A lot of you have asked and hope it is staying.

The piano came with the house. It was in the entry way when we bought the house. It sat on the front porch for weeks after we finished redoing the floors, until Harper finally found three willing helpers to move it inside. I bit my tongue and felt my blood pressure rise as they weren’t strong enough to get it to its new resting spot without making a long dent in the middle of the freshly finished pine floor. These were all strong guys. With its cast iron innards, the piano is a beast.

In 2005, the piano stayed on the front porch while we had the floors refinished.

The piano’s exterior is in pretty good shape–it could shine with a little oil and elbow grease. The keys and the inside are a different story, though. From this angle, the ebony and ivory look fine…

But without the pretty bokeh, you can see how many of the ebony and ivory key tops have been pulled off. You can also see some Sharpie art and a cigarette burn or two. The wear and tear that came with living in a rent house for many years. (This house was in the same family for several generations, but they used it as a rent house for about 2o years prior to us buying it.) And here’s the kicker–the piano is not original to that family. It actually belonged to one of the renters years ago that decided it was too much to move again. So it stayed with the house from that point on. When I found out the piano didn’t belong to the original family, I felt a huge relief. By that point, I had done enough research to know it would take a lot of money and energy to get the piano repaired and tuned. In fact, I’m not even sure it could ever really be tuned correctly. Knowing it wasn’t original made it a little easier to face the fact that one day, it might have to go.

 

Folks, I think the time has come. I wish it could stay. I wish we had a little more room, but we need the space for something more functional. Even though we have fun “playing” it, it’s not something that would work for really learning to play. It’s basically a toy that takes up an entire wall and weighs a ton. Oh, and a surface for seasonal decor–keep that in mind.

So, what is its fate? The options are few. I spend enough time at thrift stores and antique shops to know that old upright pianos–as beautiful and nostalgic as they may be–don’t sell. They don’t sell. I’ve seen them ambitiously priced at $600 and I’ve seen them sit around for $150. I’ve seen them “Free to a good home” and just “Please Take.”

So, I’ve made a tough choice. Rather than dropping it off (like that’s easy) at Faith Mission, I’ve decided to keep it. But I’m going to keep it in pieces. Yes. We are going to dismantle it. The top part that I’ve used like a mantle, will still be used as a shelf for seasonal decorations. I’ll save the decorative molding for projects, and I even have a few ideas for using the keys.

It’s kind of sad, but I’m pretty sure that’s what would happen to it if it were donated anyway, so it might as well be us.

I’ll miss seeing and hearing him play on it, but what we’re replacing it with is something that came with the house, too. But it’s functional. (More about that soon!)

And just to torture myself, here’s Tice playing the piano a few weeks after his first birthday.

Cheers to a beautiful old piano–from back in the day when things were made in America.

–Natalie

Posted in Decorating, Projects, The Ugly Truth | 2 Comments

Playroom Progress: Rug and Ottomans

I’m so excited that we have progress in the “new” playroom. We moved the dining room table out on Sunday, and I moved the couch from Tice’s room into the playroom yesterday.

You might be thinking that that couch doesn’t look like something that belongs in a playroom. If so, you’re right–not the best choice for room with bouncing boys, but it’s going to have to work. It’s a family piece that I don’t want to part with. I rescued it with Harper’s mom shortly after we got married. It was full of rats’ nests and other nasty stuff, but we–Donna and I, not Harper–could see its potential. I had it reupholstered with white denim and black piping, and it turned out even better than I had imagined. Unfortunately, it didn’t win over Harper. He didn’t want it in the living room because he said everyone would be afraid to sit on it. Since he pretty much lets me do whatever I want with decorating, I decided to play nice on this issue. But, for the record, I would LOVE to have it in our living room…

Okay, now for the rug and ottoman. Try to ignore everything in the room except the couch and wall color. I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to these rug/ottoman combos. I’ll order two of the same storage ottomans. I thought two smaller ones would be easier to move in case we were doing something that required more floor space. Each of the boys will be able to store their toys in their own ottoman.

The rug is a big commitment! I guess that’s why it’s so hard to decide. The good news is that I really like both of them and think they’re neutral enough to work in other rooms, too.

I like this black and white rug (and the price), but I think the gold or gray are going to be better in that room. I wish they had this pattern in gray instead of black–I think it would make good roads and intersections for the boys’ cars and trains. :)

After looking at all of these many times, I’m thinking these are my top choices. What do you think?

–Natalie

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Goodbye, Diningroom :: Hello, Playroom

I love our dining room. It took a long time to get it finished–many hours of pulling and burning strings from the old cheese cloth wall paper, caulking and painting. Here are some “before” and “during” pics from 2004 and 2009. (You can see a post about it here.)

The problem is, we never use it. It’s pretty and (mostly) finished, but we always eat at the bar or in the living room. Since Tice was born, we’ve eaten in there ONCE.

Sometimes I used the piano for seasonal decorations, but then I was never in there to enjoy it.

I decided recently that it’s ridiculous to have an entire room in our house that doesn’t get used. Especially when we’re often wishing for a house with more rooms. It just doesn’t make sense. So, we’re turning the dining room into a playroom. It will give the boys a place to spread out and enjoy their toys without me and Harper freaking out over the ground layer of cars and trains in the living room.

Some of our friends are going to borrow the table and chairs, so we don’t have to worry about selling or storing them. And other than a rug and a pair of ottomans and maybe some floor cushions, I’m going to try to use things that I already have. To say I’m excited would be a gross understatement! I can’t wait to create an inspiring space that will be used daily.

Let the fun begin!

Goodbye, dining room that we never dined in!

Love,

Natalie

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