Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Wow, worst bloggers ever. Mo was born, we posted. Waited four months, posted again. Waited another four months, and here we are. Babies really do take over your life!

Mo is incredible. She is truly the best baby I know. I don’t know how we got so lucky, but I don’t think we can take too much credit. She’s just so pleasant and easy, and I love her dearly.

We’re having so much fun with her. She’s eating new foods all the time, she’s on the verge of crawling, she claps and laughs, and cracks us up with everything she does. She’s doing good in daycare even though it’s still hard for me to leave her every day. Our time together during the week is so short. I usually feed her in bed in the morning and we snuggle for a minute before facing the day. But then we rush around and out the door, and she’s away from me for 9 hours. In the evening she eats, then naps, then we play for a bit, and she’s off to bed. I reserve my evenings for her and rarely make plans to do anything else during the week. Even on the weekends, I try not to do much that she can’t join me for. I don’t want to be one of those moms, and I do try to make time for friends and date nights, but my time with Mo is limited enough. I soak up as much of it as I can.

Things are good. Things are great, in fact. Just a little busy, that’s all!

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Four months later…

Apparently we have a baby and we stop blogging. That was not our intent, but when I logged in today, I realized the last post was January 18 when we announced the birth of Mo!

Things are going well though. For awhile they were tough – the first three weeks were pretty difficult  for a multitude of reasons. I was sick, we were both sleep deprived, I had some postpartum depression, and breastfeeding was a disaster. But things slowly got better, and now Mo is four months old and it’s a whole different situation. She has been sleeping through the night for awhile now (10-12 hours, in fact!), she’s eating like a champ, she’s very happy and interactive, and we’re all loving life.

In what seems like no time, she’s gone from this…

…to this.

My dad likes to joke that it looks like someone inflated her. She filled right out, sprouted eyebrows, lost her hair, and grew some deliciously chubby thighs. We’re so lucky we get to have her in our lives!

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It is with much pride and gratitude that I introduce my daughter:

Moselle Doan Z-M

She was born at 12:37am on January 14. She was 6lbs 15oz and 20 inches long. She was healthy and beautiful. And she still is:

It has been such a whirlwind since she was born. Until today, I hadn’t gotten more than a few minutes of successive sleep since sometime late Saturday night! And breastfeeding has been approximately 112 times harder than I anticipated. But it’s amazing, all of it. Even the emotional break downs I have on a regular basis. Totally worth it to be little Mo’s mom.

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Anybody care to guess a few stats about Baby Z-M? There are a couple different baby pools already floating around, but if you haven’t guessed and want to, here’s your chance. I love baby pools, so I hope you’ll participate. No prizes though, sorry. Except bragging rights, of course.

So what’s your guess?

Birth Date:

My due date is January 10. Most old wives’ tales indicate girl, but definitely not all of them.

My own personal guess is a girl on January 14, over 8 pounds and over 20 inches (I don’t remember exactly what I put in the pool at my shower). Mike has refused to commit to any guesses.

Leave your best guess in comments!

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I didn’t intend to put a lot of effort into the baby’s room, but we just moved into this house and this was my first chance to fully put together a room. Everything else is a coat of paint here, new door knobs there. But here I could take a boring empty (not to mention orange) room and transform it into something I love. I couldn’t resist.

Here is what it looked like when we moved in:

And here is what it looks like now:

The sunlight was drowning out the curtains, so here’s a look at those:

I made them!

Here are a few of my favorite details:

Canvas print of the fortune I got shortly before discovering I was pregnant. Ultrasound pictures. Last name initials.

Alphabet I embroidered inside frame I painted. Elephant hook.

Framed elephant print from Dad. Globe night light.

Elephant globe from Mom.

Dictionary prints in thrift store frames.

Paint swatch mobile.

Elephant mobile.

I had so much fun with this room, and I love how it turned out. Hopefully you do too!

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We finally finished the last painting job we wanted to do before the baby was born. Back when we bought paint for the baby’s room, we also picked up a can for one of the other bedrooms. This was back in early September, and Mike intended to paint both rooms while I was on a business trip. But if you recall, the baby’s room paint job became so much bigger than we anticipated, and it wasn’t finished until mid-October. The other bedroom got postponed as a result.

Finally a couple weeks ago, we moved all the furniture out and Mike prepped the walls for painting. I was at a painting class/party* with some friends one night when Mike put the first coat on the walls. When I took a look the next day, I was appalled. I had picked out what I thought, based on the paint swatch, was a light yellowy-green color. On the walls? Mint chocolate chip ice cream without the chips! This picture doesn’t really show it, but trust me. Mint. Green.

It was awful. And if you’re curious, it was Rice Paddy from Sherwin Williams, which of course looks different on than screen than it it did on the swatch, which was far different than it looked on the walls! Mike didn’t mind it, but I knew I couldn’t live with it. And even though it was a waste of paint and his time, I figured it was better to fix the problem immediately rather than have to move all the furniture out again later when it finally put me over the edge.

We thought about buying some test samples so this wouldn’t happen again, but clearly I suck at picking out paint, so I just wanted to get something boring and neutral and call it good. Maybe we’ll do something fun in the final bedroom or the bathrooms one day. But I just wanted this room done and over with, so boring neutral it was. This time we picked Valspar’s Frappe from Lowe’s.

Yep, just a boring ol’ light grey. I was trying to avoid an all-grey home, but I couldn’t stomach the beiges and tans Mike was suggesting, so we settled on yet another grey. Although, I picked out the mint green, so clearly I should be fired from paint selections! (For the record though, I did choose the colors in the baby’s room and our bedroom, and those both rock.)

Baby’s room – light greyish purple

Our bedroom – light blue/grey

Oh, by the way, those curtains Mike is hanging up there are temporary. I like them, but not with the grey walls. However, almost every room in our home needs curtains, an expense we’ve avoided so far. This room has temporary light blocking curtains because I’m temporarily sleeping in there and I do not do sunlight when I’m trying to sleep!

*You sign up for a one-night class and an instructor helps you paint whatever the art of the day is. We chose a night when they were doing our city’s skyline. There’s also a bar (I had cream soda of course) and you can order in food from a local restaurant. It’s pretty fun. Plus look what we made!

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Little reminders

Today Mike and I went to Babies ‘R Us to pick up a few essentials. Baby stuff, obviously. The parking lot was extremely full, but we saw an empty spot near the front. Mike was just about to turn in, then jerked the wheel at the last second. Then this:

“Damn, expectant mothers only. Shit, you are one! Damn it, I missed it!”

The profanity was a bit excessive, but the whole thing made me laugh so hard. I mean, we’re at Babies ‘R Us. To buy things for our baby. That I’m carrying. That is due in 10 weeks. Neither of us is used to the idea yet, apparently! He drove around and pulled in that spot though – it’s one of the only times we’ll get to do that.

I made sure to waddle a little just in case any onlookers questioned us.

I was still laughing, but I was so thankful for the opportunity to park there. Not because we needed to – I’m fine to walk. And not because we had to be close – it was a nice enough day to walk the length of the lot. It seems like such a silly thing, but not everyone who wants to be an expectant mother gets to be one. It made me feel very thankful for my situation.

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Getting crafty

Now that the baby’s room is painted and furnitured (it IS a word!), I’m working on some fun decorative projects. Awhile ago I saw an embroidered alphabet that I wanted to replicate, and since embroidered is my thing, it made sense. I made a few adjustments to the original – some different colors, a few less flowery things, and some different stitch techniques. Here’s what I came up with:

For the frame, I took an empty one we had on hand, but it started as an ugly wooden frame. To make it match the embroidery and my style better, I painted a coat of lime green, let it dry, then painted a coat of turquoise. I only did one coat of each so that some of each layer showed showed through. Then I roughed it up a little with an emory board (we didn’t have sand paper on hand) for that distressed look.

If you look closely, you can see layers of wood, green and turquoise.

I kind of love it!

I’ve got a few other projects up my sleeve. Here’s a sneak peek at one:

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So, the house. This is becoming a (really crappy) home improvement blog, but that’s really all there is to write about these days. Our lives = house stuff, baby preparations and work. Here are a few things we accomplished recently:


When we moved in, the fireplace had one thin layer of white paint over what used to be very dark stained wood. I know it was a very dark stain because one whole side of of the fireplace was not painted at all. There are lots of weird unfinished paint projects around the house. When we moved in, we immediately painted the orange-y bricks dark grey, but left the rest of it alone. Finally, a couple weekends ago, Mike painted the white…whiter.

Taped and ready to go.

You can kind of see the poor paint job in this one.

Working hard.

When it was all painted, dried and cured, we decided to replace the giant clock with this giant mirror that we got free from Mike’s dad and stepmom.  Eventually I want to paint the frame, and the giant clock will go on a wall somewhere. Here’s the fireplace now:


We still desperately need to winterize the pool, which mostly means we need to fix this mess:

Which has gotten so much worse since this picture. The pool cover is sinking in the middle and filling with rain (aka: swamp) water. But we haven’t dealt with that yet. However, we did winterize the porch a bit. We just hung up plastic sheeting to keep the weather out this winter.

(Yes, he’s using a wagon as a stepladder. Add stepladder to our shopping list…)

All done!

Exciting, I know.


Our living room is a hodge podge of furniture we got for free or very cheap. But the free coffee table (that matches the free end tables) was just too big for the space. And too visually heavy. So we traded it out for another table we had on hand (one that I had before we got together). I don’t have a good before picture, but you can see the larger table in this picture:

The new table feels much lighter and much more airy even though it is a darker wood.

I bought that tray at Marshall’s recently to help control the mess that usually occurs on the coffee table. No solution for the end tables yet though.


We have this set of four tall skinny shelving units that we came from Target some time ago. We’ve used them for a variety of things in their lifetime, but when moved into this house, three of them found their home in the baby’s room. I plan to use them for whatever – clothes, toys, supplies. I’ll see what naturally ends up there. We placed them under the window, in between the crib and the closet. They’re also not far from the changing table, so they could easily serve multiple purposes. Check them out in this picture:

I decided I wanted to cover the backs of these with colorful paper to brighten them up a bit. My approach to this room has basically been “lots of colors, lots of patterns” so I bought three kinds of fun scrapbook paper from Michael’s. They each started out like this:

Mike removed nails and replaced them where the backing was pulling off (these are not exactly top quality pieces of furniture!).

We removed the shelves, then I cut all the paper, and we used heavy-duty double stick tape to adhere them to the backing. Replaced the shelves, and voila!

(You can see I cut the first music note (top shelf) paper the wrong direction! But we only had three pieces, so there was no turning back. Good thing it doesn’t really bother us.)

Here are the three together, back in their spot under the window.

I can’t wait to fill them with fun baby stuff!

And that’s what we’ve been up to.

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We’re slowly making progress on this house. We have very little time to do anything, so it takes us weeks to do a job that should take a day, but we’re getting there. Over the weekend two of my sisters and my stepmom came over to help me organize the front room. I took this picture a couple weeks ago to show them what I walked into everyday when I came home:

I labeled this picture “Anxiety-inducing Room” and that’s what it was. After a stressful day at work and a long commute home, this is what I walked into, and every day it stressed me out. But I rarely had time to do anything about it, and when I did, I’d stand frozen in the middle of the room. Paralyzed by too much to do. Thank goodness for my girls, they helped me whip it into shape.

Still several projects we need to finish up (and why is the desk chair in the middle of the room…Mike??), but it’s SO much better. They also helped me do this by our front door:

While we were organizing inside, the kids were outside. Raking our front yard. They wanted a giant leaf pile, and we said sure, here are some rakes!

I’d say they did a pretty good job.

The baby’s room is still kicking our ass though. Mike slowly painted four coats on all the trim and baseboards, one hour at a time, whenever he could fit it in. Then he sanded all the walls to get rid of the bubbles that randomly popped up. And Sunday we spent several hours taping and painting. We had to use my little art brushes to paint over the white smudges from the trim paint. (Remember, we had to do that in order to cover all the layers of colorful paint caked in the creases.)

We also painted over all the little white and orange dots exposed from sanding the bubbles.

I’m not sure how well you can see it in this picture, but these little dots were everywhere. Some were quite large and needed to be covered with a smear of paint. All so that we can hopefully paint ONE more coat of mauve over the whole thing and be done.

I’m excited to finally take the tape down, remove the drop cloths, and move all the furniture back in so it will finally look like a nursery!

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