My Big Boy

For almost a year, he always referred to our house as our ship, and he was Pirate Ewin. He still does it sometimes, but not all the time the way he used to. His imagination is on to new things.

It’s such a cliche, but isn’t it bittersweet to watch them grow up?

Four is so fun, though. He has more opinions and ideas at four, and no one has told him what’s “cool” or “uncool” so it’s easier for him to be true to himself.  His favorite color is still pink (I got him a pink chair for the porch–even though it makes me twitch a little bit…), and I dread the day that someone tells him it’s a girl color and he actually listens. He does like to argue, though, so maybe he’ll stand firm.

He’s (mostly) past the meltdowns that popped up at three, and his imagination grows bigger with him each day.

He often asks to wear his “neck thing” to church.

He looks so big here…

…but sometimes he still seems small.

He loves his little brother with all his heart and he wants to be just like his daddy. So everything is as it should be…

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Island Lighting

Our Ikea lights above our island are almost dead. We bought them in 2006, and I figured they wouldn’t last forever. I thought I would probably get tired of them within a few years. They weren’t exactly what I was looking for, but they added a little modern touch to our kitchen, and at $40 each, the price was right.

I have gotten a little tired of them, but they weren’t at the top of my list of things to replace until they started giving us trouble. For the first six or seven years, we never had to replace a single bulb, but for the last few years, the bulbs have burned out constantly. Now, even new bulbs won’t work, so it’s kind of hard to keep ignoring it. It’s hard to tell in pictures, but in person, it’s very noticeable. Out of 24 bulbs, only four work… Classy! And those little halogen bulbs aren’t cheap.

Interestingly, there are a lot more options out there now that are more along the lines of what I was originally looking for. My taste hasn’t changed much. Not sure if that’s good or bad…

If these industrial style pendants from Lowe’s had been available back then, I would have definitely chosen one of them.

I’m still considering them, but I’m also considering some that aren’t quite so common right now.

The rest of these, I found on Etsy.

The one below is interesting. It would have to hang lower since our ceilings are 12-feet. I like that it is plain–I could change it up with some kind of mesh or fabric if I got tired of it. I don’t like that it is copper; our bar top is copper, so I’d rather have something that wasn’t so match-y.


I love the industrial look of this one! It would be beautiful in a group of three. But the shadows might be weird. And even though I love how the rope looks, I know it would be impossible to dust.

This one looks vintage with a hint of industrial. The shade is hand made pottery! I would hang two of them.

I love the look of the old funnels–probably my favorites based on looks alone. What I don’t like is that they are so big–they might kind of take over. I’m also worried about the light being too directional; we need the light to be substantial enough to help light the cook top and the area around the island.

I think these are at the top of my list right now. I love the details of the cord’s loops and twists. It’s offered with different sized globes, and although I love the look of the white globe, I’m leaning toward the clear to keep the area light and airy.

After I decide on the fixtures, the next step is to figure out how to arrange them. Unfortunately, our boxes are not aligned in a straight row… The electricians did this one day while I was at work. It works fine for the current fixtures, but I knew it would probably be an issue when they were replaced–and here we are!

So, here are some of my options:

-Choose the clear globes above, and use three–maybe different sizes?

-Use two and try to patch the bead board. Grrrrr

-Go with three and try to use some kind of board to disguise the box placement so the fixtures hang aligned. (Hopefully that makes sense.)


I wish I could try them all before I commit! What do you think?

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Nine Months of Life

Suddenly I have a nine-month-old! My big boy is growing and changing every day, with more and more personality coming out. He is still pretty laid back, a lot like older brother. But I think he has a few more opinions at this age than brother did. He definitely lets us know when someone does something he doesn’t like (such as take away a toy…), but he always forgives quickly. It doesn’t hurt that his big brother is usually right there to hand him something new or make noises to try to make him laugh. He’s starting to sleep a lot better, which is amazing. I’ve been taking him into the playroom before we go to bed, and I’m thinking he might not even wake for a feeding if I wasn’t moving him. He’s able to easily sooth himself back to sleep after waking (or letting out a cry just because he has to fart…), so hopefully I’m going to start getting some more sleep, too. I feel like I’ve lost the majority of my brain cells in the past year. I can’t believe I used to write for a living, because right now I can barely write my own name. Even writing this blog post feels monumental. I’m only doing it because I feel so guilty that I haven’t documented his monthly milestones like I did with Tice. How did I do that? And I had a regular job back in those days. Oh, yeah. I could do that back then because SLEEP.  Luckily, it doesn’t take much brain power to do laundry, so I can (sometimes) still keep up with that. And by “keep up with that,” I mean the washing and drying, but not necessarily the folding and putting away. Alright, back to the nine-month-old.

Here are a few things that I can remember that I don’t want to forget. :)

-He has seven (or eight) teeth now.

-He is almost as excited to see Tice as he is to sees me. And now he’s lighting up when Harper gets home.

-He isn’t a fan of the bottle.

-He still has no interest in a pacifier or his fingers, but he chews on toys like a beaver.

-He’s army crawling like a pro.

-His fine motor skills are impressive. He can pick up the tiniest of crumbs with his little pincher grab, and he loves to point. He’s starting to wave, too. So he’s basically the opposite of Tice–Tice was advanced in gross motor, and slower to develop fine motor skills.


This one cracks me up. My baby is offering me some grass. Every caption I can think of has to read in Tommy Chong’s voice.

Those big brown eyes and that little smile that’s always waiting to erupt slay me! This boy is such a joy.


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The Pool in February


Yesterday was unseasonably warm–even for Texas. When it’s 82 degrees and sunny, sometimes a four-year-old just can’t be convinced that it’s still too cold to play in the pool. So, I decided to quit trying to convince him and just let him figure it out for himself.

At first I didn’t bother bringing my big camera out, but I did manage to get a few with my phone. He never would admit that it was too cold, and he actually played in the water longer than I thought he would. But eventually he decided to get out and “let the water warm up in the sun.”

Meanwhile, his tractor needed a bath. Since he parked it in a perfect place to snap a few pictures, I brought out my camera.

That water was so dang cold, but he didn’t mind a bit.

Little brother loved watching–at least after he forgave big brother for splashing him with a cannonball.

Personal space is overrated.

They both have a pretty high tolerance for what I might consider irritating. I’m learning to just leave them alone and try not to intervene unless needed. I guess they’re just acting like brothers.

Oh, and just to keep it real: The party ended a few minutes after that last shot when Tice nailed me in the chest with a golf ball. Luckily it was me and not his brother–or my camera!


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Playroom Progress :: The Shelf

It’s been a while since I mentioned the playroom! We’ve been using and enjoying it, but it’s not finished. The piano still stands. BUT, there is progress! The Shelf that I’ve long waited to rescue is now out of the rat building—I mean the red building.

This gem was part of the stash of old goodies that came with the house when we bought it 10 years ago. Along with some old windows and other random architectural pieces, it was stored away in a shed in the backyard.

In the shot below (from 2008), you can see it back in the corner. In addition to it being hard to get to, it’s also been a high-rise rat condo for many years, which, of course, has made it easy to procrastinate its revival. Harper has serious issues with mice, rats, or anything that resembles them, so he has had no interest in my ideas for anything in that building–unless it involved blindly throwing rat poison inside.

I had made my plans clear to replace the piano with the unique shelf ever since we started the playroom, but I don’t like to nag. I think it was the stacks of toys with no home in there that finally inspired him to help me pull it from its smelly resting place.

As soon as we got it out, he looked at me and said, “You’re going to get rid of it, right?”

Nope. Not getting rid of it.

My goal was to just get rid of the rat smell before bringing it into our house. Amazingly, even though the stench inside the building is overwhelming, the top board is the only part that I can smell, and that was immediately after removing it from the building. It’s been airing out under our carport for over a week now, so we’ll see if that has helped. If not, it should be pretty easy to replace one board before I paint it.

I love imagining the past life of old treasures like this. I think it might have been used for nesting boxes in the red building. Before that–maybe in the Schmid Brothers Building/Savital Grocery, which is now the Ant Street Inn. (This house belonged to the Schmid family.) Anyway, it’s fun to think about its history.

There are lots of long nails protruding, formerly used to hang or display who-knows-what.

I love the pointed scallops (is there a word for that style?). And the tapered shape of the shelf with its deeper base makes it more interesting.

This shot really shows how nasty that top shelf is. Sorry. I know it’s gross. I’ve rejuvenated lots of old barn-stored furniture in the past, but that top shelf is the worst one I’ve attempted. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I know it’s going to be worth the effort!


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