Friday, March 20, 2015

One Year of Ada


 
Well, it's almost here.  The first year of my daughter's life has flown by.  I knew it would, it did with her brother too, but somehow it was different this time.  Laboring this butter ball was quick and to the point: it lasted 10 hours, on my due date, 14 minutes of pushing and there she was.  9 pounds 5 oz of gorgeous.  She slept her first two weeks away and then decided she was done with that. She has too much to explore!

In one short week this baby will be one. I love the toddler years, absolutely love them.   I know, I know, nothing can really beat those squishy newborn and baby days, but toddlers have a fire to them that I love.  They are fascinating to watch, if you can keep up.  Over this past year, I have watched closely as our little bug has sucked up everything she can.  With her brother as a guide, she discovered language, her surroundings, her voice, her reflection and just soaks it right up.

The thing that has tugged at my heartstrings most heavily is her bond with her brother.  Atticus took some time to warm up to his baby sister.  He was beyond excited about her, asking every single day when she would arrive (for the full 9 months), but once she came and the reality set in that she stays, like, forever, he had a hard with that.  It went from being just he and I when my husband was away for the National Guard for five months, and then suddenly dad is back and a sister came.  But the shock set in and he has grown in his role as teacher for his new baby.  Now, she can't leave his sight without him looking for her, and I watch as his eye moves to keep up with her, just so he knows what she is doing and where she is at all times.

Atticus is a constant reminder of how quickly they grow up.  His baby days seemed to go a little slower than her's, but then, so did I.  Somewhere in there, life sped up, and I'm making it my mission to slow it down from here on out. 

So as my June Bug turns one, there are some things about her that I am likely to never forget and always cherish:

-This hair. Girlfriend has hair that I always dreamed of on my daughter. It is soft and beautiful and begging for bows and headbands. Then I remembered that this is my child we are talking about.  She obviously will not keep them in her hair.  She has to explore them, throw them on the ground and discover them again later. 





-These eyes.  Ada has eyes on her so fierce, I could actually sit and stare at them all day.  But more than just the aesthetics of them, she sees everything, and she finds so much joy in that.  She watches, and she tries things out. Nod your head, and she'll do it back.  Smile at her and say hello, and she's sure to give a wave and a big toothy grin.  She sees you, and she wants to know everything you put in front of her.


-Her gorgeous little hands.  Ada is very animated (see below) and uses her hands a lot.  They are always flailing around, and you are likely to be hit with them if you're too close when she's excited. She dances with them, she cheers you on with them, she uses them during her diva moments.  Her hands speak volumes, and they are also very tasty when cutting a tooth.



 -This smile.  She has an infectious way about her.  She smiles and you have to smile along with her.  Ada finds so much joy in everything around her and it is a beautiful thing.  I often watch her, just to see how she'll react to things.  Mornings are my favorite, as I enter her room to greet her, and she immediately shoots up with a tired face, huge smile and stands immediatly to see me.  We open her shade, she looks right out her window and points, "theeaaa" (there) and then laughs until I pick her up.  We should all start our day the way she does.  Excited, ready, smiling.


  

I feel insanely lucky to be the mom of Atticus and Ada.  I have never in my life been so tired, and after a solid year without a full night of sleep, I honestly don't know how I have made it, but I can tell you, I would do it all again.  This year has been too busy, and I've been a zombie through most of it, but looking back at her first year of being here, I am so proud of all she's done.  I'm proud of Atticus for being so amazing and patient.  I'm proud of my husband and I for surviving a year of no sleep.  I'm proud of my year of breastfeeding.  I'm proud of it all.  Now, I have one more week before she turns one, and I intend on making it go by very slowly.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Kid's Barn Craft


If you have kids, you are no stranger to the "what can I get them for a present?" question.  As you look around at the cemetery of toys forgotten, those ones they had to have, would keep them busy and couldn't resist, you just don't want to add to the chaos.  Well, that is our house.  So at Christmas, when my mom asked what Atticus might enjoy, she suggested this barn craft and it was just the ticket! She picked it up for him (at Tractor Supply of all places), and he loved it.

  


The kit came with paint, the barn, a fence and these adorable little animals, and was just $14.99!  If you can't find this specific one, AC Moore has many wood crafts with basically the same idea.  It was great, because it kept him busy for a long time, and he had a toy to play with in the end.  

The only thing I didn't like was the lack of brown paint (he asked about this many times "where's the brown for the barn, mom?"), and the colors that were included were sparse, so you may want to pick up some extra at the craft store. 









Ada enjoyed watching the craft, and has since enjoyed the little animals!  There are also a lot of bird house varieties that look fun, so luckily I now have a great idea the next time someone asks what he likes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Home Sweet Home


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When I first came to upstate NY, it was to visit some family friends.  I had only been there a few times, when in August of 2007 I went to attend a bridal shower.  After the shower, it began to rain, so we ran down the road to my friends grandmother's house.  I had known grandma Joy for many years, since they all came to our family cottages in Maine each summer.  I knew a lot of the family from their vacationing, but when I entered the house, there was a group of people (family members) I didn't know.  This was the day I first met my husband.  He offered me clams and I notoriously laughed at him that no.  As the daughter of a lobsterman and someone who worked with Maine lobster and clams every day, I do not want your NY clams, thank you very much.


 
 


A few short years later, we moved to this house with a newborn Atticus.  This move was prompted by a few things, but mostly it was a way to be directly in the middle of both sets of our parents so we weren't too far away from any of them (four hours is better than eight).  After settling in, and deciding this is where we are going to stay, we started our DIY updates on the old family home.





The hallway was quite the undertaking, but under the five layers of wallpaper, so much history was revealed, including these treasures from when my husband's father and his siblings left their mark on this wall before their dad did work on it back in the 60s.  Now, so many years later, Atticus was able to do the same with his dad.


 




The dining has remained mostly the same, and this wallpaper is not going anywhere.  Eventually, as the budget allows, we will be taking up the rest of the carpeting and replacing what needs to be replaced, but we've been surprised with what lies behind those carpets.  The living room was done somewhat on a whim. I said one afternoon, "lets just pull up those carpets and see whats under there," and my husband jumped up and went for it.  I was thrilled to find gorgeous original hardwood, we think circa the 1800s.  Sure, its scuffed and imperfect, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 





IMG_0510   
(Living room, before & after)


 

We knew the carpets in our tiny, but wonderful bedroom needed to come up, so we saved our pennies, found some great hardwood on sale, and prepared ourselves for the work that was needed.  But here another surprise was hiding. More gorgeous floors!  These ones were in better condition than the living room and we couldn't believe our luck.  Money saved, and a room I love.





It was in this house that we discovered we had a new bedroom to prepare, one for our baby girl!  This was a dream come true in so many ways, and I knew I'd have a blast creating a room for my tiny lady.  To see details on her room makeover, check out this post all about it.

 







 This house has been more than just a place to live.  It's been an adventure, and that isn't always a good thing. Old houses mean old walls, old plumbing, old electrical, and new costs.  But I would take old over new any day.  My husband calls it my Yankee Mentality.  I love the memories we are creating here, and it's exciting to think of the future generations who will leave their mark on this house.  Our time is now, and as we begin taking down wall paper or tearing up carpets, we are reminded of the history and memories of our house, and feel blessed to be creating our own in such a special place.  Family members have been born here and died here and though we can make cosmetic changes to make it our own, the history will always be a large part of what makes this home.  I had no idea, the day I refused the clams here, that it would someday become the home I've come to love so much.

If you're on the market for your first apartment, or home, there are some really neat avenues you can take to lead you right to it.  Urban Compass has an amazing online Neighborhood Guide for NYC, where you can take a look around and determine which one best fits personality and lifestyle.  Find out everything from commute times, affordability, and changes in rent over time.  You get an in depth look at the type of people you would be surrounded with, what business are around and the overall vibe of the part of the city.  Another perk: you get a brief on what not to expect. 

What are you waiting for? Go find your perfect home.





 

To see more of our DIY projects and home renovations, follow along on Instagram @KnaptimeKnitter





 




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Customer Appreciation Sale


I don't know about where you are, but here in upstate NY, its been cold. Like, freezing.  The other day I went outside and said to myself, "wow! It's nice out today." It was 16 degrees.  I figured, what better way to deal with the cold then to have something cozy to look forward to wearing, and that is why this sale is here for you!

Everything in the shop is handmade by me, and I cannot tell you how much I love working my fingers doing this.  What started as a hobby has grown to, dare I say, a job, a business.  My husband often comments how incredible it is that yarn can be made into such neat things, and you know what? He's right! It is neat. And I love it. 

Here are some of the items in the shop, but there's more, so be sure to stop on by:











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