Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our Bathroom is Finished. And Natalie Overshares. But She Predicts that Many People Will Sympathize. And All Will Be Forgiven.

Cue the Angels: HALLELUJAH!!

UGH. I was so sad when our bathroom totally fell apart because of an upstairs water leak. It especially sucked because it is the only bathroom on the first floor. Which meant running up and down the stairs whenever the "urge" hit.

So, I have the most sensitive bladder/bowels in the universe. I realize that I have to go and then in less than 10 seconds it turns into an emergency. So NO warning. And running up the stairs to use the toilet is a total nightmare. Especially with an unpredictable toddler who knows how to open doors. I end up gating her somewhere or snatching her and dragging her up the stairs and barricading her in the bathroom with me. I am a desert creature on car rides. I don't eat or drink anything for hours before going somewhere just to avoid an argument with Troy about stopping again. And what I mean by that is Troy laughs while I cry because I think I'm going to have an accident in the car. He has suggested that I wear diapers in the car. Just to run up to the gas station. Because 10 seconds is my limit. It's bad.

So what I was REALLY trying to say, is that it is ABOUT TIME for the bathroom to be finished. It was broken for exactly 13 days. The bathroom issue with Natalie has only gotten worse since having a baby. That is the reality of pregnancy and childbirth people.

Here's the timeline of "Operation: Repair Bathroom so that Natalie Can Run to it About 5 Times a Day and Troy can Laugh at her"

Troy discovered the leak on Saturday. The plumber came saturday night and ripped everything out. Sunday, the environmental people came and started with the big industrial sized dryers. They were in the house until wednesday. The dryers were removed.

The following monday, the insulation guy came. He did the outside of the house and the inside of the bathroom. Here's the insulation finished:

The drywall guy was here monday evening and all day tuesday. And then the drywall:

Wednesday the drywall guy came and sanded all the drywall edges to prep for painting in addition to adding the texture to the walls for the inside and outside stucco. Then the door frame repair guy/reinstalled all the bathroom hardware came thursday. The painters came friday.

In just enough time for Troy and I to have friends over for dinner and drinks and be able to use the bathroom. Without touching the walls. The paint was still wet but there was no way I was running up the stairs after a couple drinks. Win. I am just SO grateful that the damage was not more invasive and we didn't have to pay for the repairs. SO grateful.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Backyard Landscaping: Demolition is Step 1

We have officially broken ground on the yard and the pool!!

We have our plans fairly finalized with the landscaper and so far, it's going great.

We are completing our backyard project in 2 stages. The play area/hang out area will be done in the next 2 weeks and the pool will break ground in the spring, just in time for use next summer.

Step 1 of the play area was demolition. For the pool. That requires some explanation. Our electrical is on the opposite side of the house from our side yard where the pool is going. All of the electrical needed to be wired for the pool before the play area went in because if we waited until spring when stage 2 starts, the play area would have to be dug up and we would have to pay for labor costs and been out a backyard during the entirety of the pool digging. That would have been sad because we hear that fall and spring in Vegas are gorgeous. Thank goodness, because the weather isn't giving us high hopes thus far.

So while all of the mess with the bathroom fixing is going on, the landscaping company shows up, with a GIANT backhoe. I was like, "oh no." There were 5 people working at the house. 1 doing drywall, 2 doing outdoor stucco siding, and 2 operating the big backhoe for the yard. I was like, I did not sign up to be a construction manager. It was SO loud. And it was almost Avery's nap time when the jackhammer started to dig under the fence in the side yard for the electrical for the pool. RIGHT under her bedroom. Of course.

So here is the progress so far:

The area above where the backhoe is sitting is where the artificial turf is going. The area where the covered porch sits is getting doubled in length (extending straight out) towards the back fence with pavers. The pavers will cover the existing patio and extend straight out so that half is covered that the other half is in the sun. The pool is going on the side yard to the left of the patio. We are having the safety gate (required by law in the state of Nevada) installed now to keep Avery and Optimus out of the "unfinished" portion of the yard.

Here is the giant trench dug all the way around the house by the backhoe for the electrical.

The whole back fence is getting 1/2 inch gravel in "copper rose" color all the way around the edges of the yard. The whole backyard will be framed with about a 3 foot border. Like a picture frame with the gravel being the frame and the turf/pool/patio all in the middle. We also have to be strategic about plants and flowers because Optimus likes to kill everything will his kryptonite urine. We are going ceramic pot shopping and potting everything and running irrigation into the pots. So those will become a permanent fixture of the house.

This is another view of the trench. They filled it all back in after they laid the electrical. The electrical is for the pool pump going next to the air conditioning units, which we plan to fence in (they will be right next to the pool deck).

We are supposed to start actual landscaping on October 1st. We are already approved through the HOA, so that's a relief. They are saying that the play area should only take about 4 days. I am hoping by my birthday we will be done :) BBQ in the back yard!!! WOOO HOOOO!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Non-Desert Dwellers Take Note...You Know Who You Are...

Have you seen this??

Or this???

Or tons of this???


I want to wear sweaters and jeans. I want to drink coffee on my porch and go for evening walks. I want to put out my fall decorations. They are my absolute favorite of all my holiday decor. I want Avery to be able to wear pants. How sad is that? I just want Avery to be able to wear jeans. Instead, I am SO SAD because they are turning off the splash pad at the playground by our house on October 1st. And it's still too hot to be outside without the splash pad after about 10am. COME ON FALL! I am so ready for you. All my summer clothes are BEYOND worn out.

And I am not the only person who feels this way, okay?? On behalf of everyone who lives in the desert, please keep your fall happiness to yourself. It makes me SO sad every time I see these posts. I can hardly bear to think about the deliciousness of a pumpkin spice latte because I cannot bear to think of walking outside carrying one. When the weather outside is like this:

A little sensitivity would be great. Because all of us out here in the desert are feeling a little pain.

Send some cool weather our way. I think our kids are going to be surfers and hula dancers for Halloween because we cannot bear to think of putting our kids in clothes that would be fall appropriate.

Dear Fall,

Where are you? Why have you forsaken me? I miss you so much. I miss my jeans and hoodies. Avery had ADORABLE sweaters and leggings that she is going to grow out of before she can wear them and make me cry.

I miss you and I love you.


ps. All of you haters are going to get a dose of remorse around April when it's GORGEOUS here and I'm all "yay warm weather, look at us outside" and it's raining on you!! (sticks tongue out)

Rant over.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Art Updates

I bought this stuff like...FOREVER ago. I blogged about it almost 2 months ago. I had a shopping spree on Etsy and picked up some art. So I finally got around to buying some frames. I picked up 4 16 x 20 frames at Ikea while I was in San Diego last week on clearance. WOOP WOOP!

I opened those bad boys and put all the pictures in the frames. Then I realized some tweaking needed to be done. 3 of the pictures were 8 x 11.5 and the 4th picture was almost 12 x when I looked at the pictures together, they looked silly because the grey borders weren't matching up.

Long story short, I wound up doing some surgery on the print. I used an exacto knife to cut it down because I tend to get overzealous with scissors. I measured and cut exactly down the lines with the exacto knife. Easy peasy. Can you tell which one of these 3 got snipped?

It was the one shaped like Virginia on the far left. This is the other print that is hanging next to the window over the side table.

As you can see in the picture collage above, I have also rehashed our lamp problem after getting some feedback on the lampshade issue. So I purchased a new shade from Target and got that all fixed up. Troy had to do some surgery on the lamp to make it look right. It involved wire cutting and electrical tape. It looks MUCH better! Here's the old one:

And the new one!! SO MUCH BETTER!!! Right?

We also hung up all of our pictures in the stairway. We didn't hang a single one of these in San Antonio because it was too much work. Isn't that awful? So, I exchanged a bunch of the pictures in the frames because Avery wasn't born yet when these were last hanging. And here is the gallery of frames on the way up the stairs:

I'm so glad we are finally getting a bunch of this stuff done around the house. I really feel like a house starts to feel like a home when stuff is hanging on the walls.

What makes a house feel like home to you? The coffee pot on the counter? Curtains hanging? Are you with me about the picture frames?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avery Does Not Share with Daddy...Food Anyway

Avery was having strawberries for dessert and when Troy attempted to eat one, she was not agreeable to sharing. At all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You Are My Sunshine!

I received a present in the mail last week. And I love art. LOVE. My mom is obsessed with this website called and she is constantly "did you see this?" or "did you see that?" I already have and updates, so the last thing I need is another discounted website to shop on.

Little did I know, my mom had been doing some shopping of her own. And I got this beauty delivered to my doorstep last week. Avery was super excited about it too. But for a totally different reason. The packaging was light saber shaped. So Troy and Avery played Luke and Darth Vader in the foyer. No video. Sorry.

Anyway. Here he is in his framed glory:

Now. Backstory. I don't remember this, but apparently my mom sang "You Are My Sunshine" to me everyday, all the time, when I was baby/kid. This is a super thoughtful gift from her. She was all teary eyed about it over the phone when I opened it. I felt kind of bad because I don't remember it, but then again, I don't remember a lot of things from my childhood. I know there are people who remember their 1st birthday, but I LITERALLY remember nothing until I was in 2nd grade and got my tonsils out and stayed overnight in the hospital. That is the first memory I have. And it was traumatic. Sorry Mom. My first memory is of me being abandoned by myself overnight, in the hospital, with fire in my throat.

But that is neither here nor there. Mom, I LOVE THIS PRINT. It's totally gorgeous. I love the dark teal color. And it's HUGE!! It's a 22 X 30 inch print. The paper quality is amazing. It is SUPER thick, quality paper. And I love that it is meaningful for mom and me. I just wish I had a memory of the meaning behind the gift.

So you walk in the front door and this is what you see. Right to your right. Pretty right? On my new (okay, technically it's old) craigslist buffet. And we all know I love Craigslist.

And here he is from the front angle. Perfect, right? Pretty good scale for the buffet. He didn't come framed, so I did have to buy a frame. I snagged it from Michael's for 55% off. WIN! And then I had an additional 10% off coupon. DOUBLE WIN!

Anyone received a great gift lately? Or gotten a sweet deal with a coupon?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Giving and Receiving (the Clothing Edition)

As I stated last week, I spent a week in San Diego with my cousin who had a baby in June. Avery and Jameson are exactly 13 months apart. Avery was born in May of 2011. I hadn't seen Laura since March of 2011 at my baby shower. We had a lot of catching up to do. So of course, like any responsible parent who gets up with their kids at 7 in the morning (or earlier in her case...ugh) we stayed up almost every night until midnight.

Disclaimer: We are freaks of nature and realize how lucky we are. And also that baby #2 will probably wreck havoc on our bodies and it will be awful. Now with that said:

Laura is back in her pre-pregnancy clothes and I am actual smaller than I was before getting pregnant with Avery. Don't hate us. We are ducking under the table to avoid getting things thrown at us.

During our first midnight discussion, we were talking about how our bodies and our lives have changed. I mentioned how NONE of my clothes fit from before I had Avery. The only things that fit are things that I have bought in the past 6 months. We're talking all the way down to bras and underwear. But I cannot bring myself to donate anything because then my closet and drawers would be almost empty. The other problem is, over 50% of my clothes were work clothes. When I had to wear a collared shirt and khakis to work with a lab coat. I bought them for work and they aren't really my style, so I haven't worn them in almost 1.5 years. Basically since Avery was born, 50% of my wardrobe hasn't been worn. And the other 50% is too big.

Psychologically, I couldn't get rid of stuff and then feel like I don't have "choices" in my closet, even though I know they aren't really something I would "choose" anyway. I also have an issue with the confidence in myself that I won't gain the weight back either. I have ZERO self control and hate hate hate exercise.

In summary 90% of my clothes don't fit and about half of my actual available wardrobe isn't something I would choose to wear anyway. And if I did choose to wear my work clothes while not at work, it was worn so frequently while working there, it's all faded and grey looking from being over-washed.

The funny thing is, I am a purger. I LOVE getting rid of stuff. LOVE IT! I have been struggling with this wardrobe issue since we lived in San Antonio and I was able to wear scrubs to work. I wanted to purge my clothes then, but didn't know what my "uniform" would be once I got a job in Vegas, but now that I know that it will be scrubs again (YES!), I am feeling ready to purge.

Anyway. So, I confess all this to Laura and she looks at me all, "I am a GENIUS" and says, "This is perfect. I need to purge too."

Laura is in sales and has GORGEOUS clothes. Much nicer than my stuff. It's name brand and she swears it's from outlets. Either way, she is very well dressed and most of her clothes are now my size!!

She unloaded a TON of stuff on me and then we headed to the outlets the next day so that she could help me shop for some things and replenish her newly empty hangers. I am a terrible shopper. I find good deals, but that's about it. A lot of the time, my "deals" are not great quality things, but "good for now" things that aren't well made or quality materials or (according to Laura) not even CLOSE to my size. Apparently the shirts I have been wearing, since high school basically, are TOTALLY the wrong size. Lesson learned. I was buying things bigger than I should. Trying on her smaller clothes, I felt a little constricted, but they looked good. I guess that will happen when you have been wearing too big, baggy clothes for almost a year and a half.

When I got home, I was putting stuff away that she had given me and, holy cow, I made out at Closet de Laura. Almost 30 things. That's more than people buy with 5k on What Not to Wear. They shop at the wrong places on that show, for the record. I'm convinced. Laura needs to take them shopping and get them more bang for their buck. Anyway. I was putting stuff away and 90% of it needed to hang up. I was out of hangers. So I started pulling down everything that I didn't want, didn't fit, or was too worn out. There was stuff up there that I hadn't worn since college. Not kidding.

I wound up donating:

- 9 pairs of jeans (I have an's a problem. I still have 11 pairs too.)

- 8 pairs of khaki/corduroy type pants
- 13 polo shirts (all work stuff)

- 4 button down shirts
- 7 pairs of shorts
- 6 dresses (I have a serious addiction. I buy them for events I have imagined. A lot of my dresses still have tags on them.)
- 19 "nice shirts"
- 6 tank tops
- 8 t-shirts
- 3 pairs of shoes

I folded and organized everything in stacks by what it was, so when the workers take things out of the bags, their job is easier. Everything is clean too :)

I love love love Goodwill. I donate there and shop there. It supports great things and gives jobs to people who need them who are in unfortunate situations.

It's a circle of love. Laura donates to me, I donate to Goodwill, and good things happen. AND my closet is super organized. It looks like a rainbow up in there. I should have taken a picture of that. Everyone wins.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mommy Parenting VS. Daddy Parenting

Troy and I are parents. But our first baby was our puppy Optimus. He is the BEST dog. So sweet. And gentle with Avery. I need to keep that in mind more often. He was our very first baby. And we love him dearly.

Sometimes we have conflicting views on proper dog parenting. Or general first aid. Here is a perfect example:

While Laura and I were out shopping at the outlets on saturday morning in San Diego, Troy and Optimus went hiking. They went about 3 miles and didn't go further because Optimus was pooped out. By the time that they hiked the 3 miles back and then got home, the poor baby puppy was limping. Troy checked out his paw and there was a huge blister on one of his pads :(

Troy sent me this picture. It's his solution to Optimus's blister problem. It's very high tech (sarcasm). Can you guess what it is? I knew immediately. There is no duct tape involved. Which is remarkable considering it is a frequent man-cure-all. I kid, I kid. Sort of.

This is my immediate response. How sassy is my hubby?? He's funny.

It's like he KNEW that his solution would not satisfy me. Can you hear the positivity in his exclamation marks? Like, "If I am excited enough with my exclamation points, she will ignore the fact that Avery's beautiful white sock could be about to catch a bucketful of pus and blood?"

P.S. No, I'm not pregnant. MOM! I just like to joke with Troy that if we have a boy, he will have to wear Avery's beautiful clothes so that they get tons of wear before I give them away. We have TONS of pink frilly socks that he could have picked for Optimus's foot, but apparently, even a boy DOG is not allowed to wear girl socks.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kids Only

I didn't take a single picture with my camera. 5 DAYS AND NO CAMERA PICTURES! What's wrong with me? And there isn't a single picture of Laura and I together. NOT ONE!!

I went to San Diego last tuesday and came back on sunday.

TUESDAY: I left home around 9am and got to Laura's around 130pm. She was still at work, so I put Avery down for a nap and unloaded the car. Traveling and packing with kids...oy vey. I got settled and snagged Jameson from her nanny. And squeeeeeezed him. Look at this face:

Isn't he precious? Laura can home from work and then we pretty much hung out with the kids and chatted. We got dinner ready and gave both of the kids baths and put them to bed. And then we ate dinner and had a few drinks, cackling and chatting until midnight. Typical :)

WEDNESDAY: We got up and drank coffee and showered and Laura went to work. I was on kid duty.

I got both of the kids down for naps and decided to give Laura some help. Her hubby is gone for 3 months at a training in Virginia. No thank you. She is a better woman than me. I cleaned her bathroom, made her bed, did 3 loads of laundry, dusted, swept, and scrubbed down the kitchen. I got a meatloaf made and by then, Jameson was ready for some playtime. About 20 minutes later, Avery was up and we all played on the floor for about 20 more minutes. Laura came home and saved the day with her boobs. Jameson did not want to take a bottle. We ate some peanut butter and crackers for a snack and had dinner and gave the kids baths and put them to bed.

THURSDAY: We got up and watched Sesame Street and hung out. Then we went for a walk down to the boardwalk and saw the house from Top Gun:

We went back to the house and ate some more peanut butter.

Laura went to work for a couple hours and I went through her clothes and tried stuff on. She wanted me to decide what I wanted because it would make it easier for her to part with it if she knew things were getting a good home with me. When she got back, both of the kids were still asleep and we went through her stuff together and my loot was big :) The kids were STILL sleeping when we finished, so we woke them up. We like our adult time at night and 3 hours of sleeping was enough for them to make sure they would sleep at bed time.

We played some and Avery walked around with Jameson's stuffed animals and had us all kiss them. Over and over. Jameson included. It was more like Avery smashed the toys in his face and made the kiss noise for him. It was funny.

AREN'T THEY THE CUTEST?!?!?! I mean, I know we're biased. But still.

We had chicken stir fry with brown rice. Yum. We decided after 2 late nights, we were going to bed by 10.

FRIDAY: IKEA DAY! We got ready early this morning and were trying to be at IKEA when they opened at 10. We did alright. We got there around 1030. Avery LOVES sitting in shopping carts. Jameson sat in his carrier and slept almost the whole time we were there. We went through the showroom and then had lunch in their cafeteria. We all found something to eat. I love IKEA. They are so family friendly. There are nursing rooms and there is child care.

It's awesome. We did some damage. We got home about 230 and Avery went down for a nap. We had leftovers for dinner and went to bed at 11. After watching 4 episodes of Intervention on A&E on demand. That show is addicting!

SATURDAY: We did the morning thing. Coffee and showers. Then we hit up the outlet mall. Gap, Banana Republic, and Crate and Barrel were where we got most of our haul from. Avery tested out Laura's BOB stroller. She liked it. We are going to try and snag one at the REI garage sale this month. She said hi to everyone in the stores and pretty much was adorable. Laura put Jameson in the carrier and he slept the whole time. And so I tried on all her clothes. Which was hilarious. We were standing in the middle of the store and she's holding an armful of stuff like, "ok this one. Pull the sleeves up, pull the waist down. Hm, try on the next size up/down." I was her mannequin since Jameson was asleep. And then the kids decided they had enough. Avery was screaming and had peed through her cloth diaper. Disaster :( So we went back home and it was nap time. And then we ate some peanut butter and apples. And then Laura ran up to the commissary for a few things and I experienced Jameson's first meltdown. OOOOOO he can scream. Like rattle your spine and make your eyeballs pop. LOUD LOUD LOUD. But then he fell asleep. And he's SO precious when he sleeps.

The kids woke up and we headed to Chick-fil-a for dinner. Yum. There isn't one in Las Vegas. Here's Avery enjoying her dinner. See that nugget in her hand? She shoved the whole thing in her mouth and WOULD NOT give it to me. Clenched her teeth. I watched her closely and she chewed and swallowed it without an issue. I was impressed. She's got her dad's big mouth :) I sent Troy pictures of our whole Chick-Fil-A experience to torture him. He LOVES it. There is not a single one in Las Vegas. Troy has been going through withdrawal. The closest one to Alamogordo was an hour away in Las Cruces. We drove there 2x for Chick-Fil-A to get it. And Troy would buy 3 days worth and then eat it for lunch for 3 days. Seriously. He loves it.

Here's Laura and the baby boy. Aren't they sweet?

We had a girls night after we did baths and put the kids to bed. We watched Project Runway and brushed each others hair and had a pillow fight. Just kidding. Except about Project Runway. And we went to bed at midnight. Again. We just can't learn!

SUNDAY: Morning routine, packed the car, and we left :(

Summary: We played, we talked, we shopped. And ate a lot of peanut butter. JIF. Generic doesn't cut it. Or crunchy. Or Peter Pan. It's gotta be JIF. We are in agreement on this.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My New House is Busted

This is for your listening pleasure while reading this. You can substitute in "my new house is busted" for the lyrics.

I went San Diego last week to visit my cousin, Laura, and her son, my new cousin Jameson. If anyone is educated on family trees, I have a question for you. My mom and Laura's mom (Kim) are 1st cousins. That makes Laura my mom's 2nd cousin and Kim my 2nd cousin. I think that makes Laura and me 3rd cousins. And Avery is Laura's 4th cousin and Jameson is my 4th cousin?? Does that make Avery and Jameson 5th cousins?? I need help, clearly. I could google it, but I'm a little lazy.

We had a lovely time for 5 days together. And then I drove home 4.5 hours. The drive was great. No issues. And then, I came home to this in my house. It looks like a straight up Dexter killing room:

Oh woops. Just kidding. I LOVE that show. Here it is. I walked in from the garage and saw this. The whole door frame is ripped off. And the room is taped off like Dexter is about to do some slashing in there.

It normally looks like this:

The inside looks like this...all the drywall on the back wall is missing. BUT WAIT! Let me pan up for you too...


Troy came home from a hike with Optimus on saturday and the ceiling was soaked and dripping into the bathtub. PANIC! He called me all, "What do I do?"

He called the emergency warranty number for our builder and they sent a plumber out within an hour. Talk about service! They ripped out the ceiling. AND the walls. The bathroom wall that was wet shares the garage wall so if you sat on the toilet, you could wave to our across the street neighbor all WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD!!

And they put TWO holes in the outside of the house right where Avery's bathtub is on the second floor:

When Troy texted me the pictures of the house on saturday while I was still in San Diego, I almost had a stroke. I could only think bad things.

"Oh my God. Our builder sucks. We just closed on our house 2 months ago and we are already having issues? What else could be wrong? What if the whole inside of the wall is moldy now?? Avery's room is on that side of the house. Is she going to be sick all the time? How much is this going to cost? Thank God I won't be back until tomorrow. Thank God I didn't find the problem. I would have gone into full meltdown mode. I'm glad we are here. We don't have to deal with the noise and dust and people all over. What if something else is wrong? Are you going to be able to tell where they patched the holes on the side of the house? What if bugs are crawling into my house where they are putting holes? Or a bird is making a nest inside the house? AHHHHH!!!"

The culprit was found right there.

The blue rubber tubing is the cold water to Avery's bathtub. Apparently the ring that holds the rubber tube on the metal pipe wasn't tight enough. Giving Avery baths was increasing the pressure in the tube and it got loose and started dripping. All down the inside of the house. After the culprit was found, the plumber came with a thermal imaging kind of thing that detects water. Thats why all the walls and ceiling and door frame are off and being replaced. They were wet.

The building superintendent came to check things out and told Troy that we won't be responsible for paying for damages (PRAISE THE LORD) since it is a construction error. We were lucky.

They should be done putting all the drywall in tomorrow. YAY for speedy work. Love it. Dexter's killing room will be gone tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Hike that Made Me Feel Like I had Emphysema

Troy and I have decided that we need to spend more time outside. It is important that Avery see Troy and I making smart and healthy life choices. That means watching 4 seasons of Dexter in 1 week is no longer allowed. I wish I were joking, but we totally did that. Our couch had permanent imprints of our bums in it the week after Christmas. AH Dexter. You are awesome.

Anyway, this post is about our hike. THE GREAT OUTDOORS! BUGS! SWAMP ASS! SWEAT! DIRT! Those are things that I associate with hiking. Not my favorites. I'm not an "outdoorsy girl." I like air conditioning, running water, and a comfy place to rest my head.

So when Troy and I decided to make this a goal for our lifestyle and with our kids, like true intellectuals, we bought a book. It has about 50 hikes in it around the Las Vegas area. It's like "Hiking for Dummies" but better. Troy ended up picking the 1st hike in the book for us to do. It was rated moderate for the quick incline in elevation. It was 3.6 miles and rated well for kids and pets. Sweet. Yes.

NO! My body is NOT USED to the elevation. I wasn't tired or sweaty, I just could not catch my breath. I felt like my intake was soooo short. I had to keep stopping to get some air.

This was my view from looking up from my head between my knees. Sometimes he would wait.

But most of the time he was like, "Are you serious?? You need to work out more. This hike was rated well for KIDS! You gotta pull it together."

And I was all, "Troy if you want to make this an every weekend thing, you better make it enjoyable for me, or I won't go anymore. Hobby over."

And then pregnant woman about to give birth would pass us carrying a 3 year old on her back. I wish I were kidding.

This is where we were going. It's called Fletcher Canyon. It was pretty.

That's Troy pointing and saying, "We made it to the end."

And me thinking, "Oh thank God, I need a sandwich."

I wore Avery on the way down. We made EXCELLENT time on the way down. The way up, not so much. But we FLEW down. Don't judge. This picture is awful. I look fat and exhausted. But I did it. 3.6 miles. I was pretty proud.

Overall, pretty good experience. If Troy hadn't been such a negative Nancy, I think I wouldn't have tried to chuck the dog leash at his head. We're planning another trip. I am thinking it will go better that time.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Thrift Lamp from Alamogordo Crosses an Entry Table from Craigslist

I bought some things while we were in Alamogordo. And Troy was mad every time I came home from thrifting with something that we had to "figure out how we were getting it to Las Vegas." We were SO out of room.

And then I bought a lamp for $5. The shade was free. WIN!

Troy: "But um, that stuff is breakable and the shade takes up a lot of room. How do you intend to pack that? Miss Overpacker??"

Oops. We were still mid-move (with 2 months to go in the TLF) at this point and moving everything we had brought from Texas in February. 6 months living out suitcases is rough y'all. Let me tell you. A piece of advice from me to you? Pack WAY less than you think you'll need. You'll buy stuff anyway. You'll buy it if you absolutely can't live without it. And everyone shops and accumulates a few things over the course of 6 months. It's not possible to buy nothing.'re packing the car and all of a sudden you're like "oooo look at that teeny little bit of space right there!! I need to bring more baby toys!!" Yeah not so much. RESIST!! Don't do it! They would rather play with a spoon and a magazine that they can shred. Lesson learned. Pack way less than you need. So when you find a $5 dollar-make-you-holla-lamp, your husband doesn't try to knock you out with it Clue candlestick style.

So here is my beauty of a 5 dollar lamp. It's pretty blah here. It's like cream with beige paint splats all over it. But isn't the shape GREAT??

Here she is all taped up with bags to protect the cords and the top...aka give it some "I've-never-spray-painted-anything-in-my-life" protection.

I saved a box from some deliveries that we had gotten just for painting. Then Troy was all, "for real, you're gonna do that next to our brand new house?? Spray paint? Really??"

And I was all "I love you I miss you I want to be close to you. That's all...and I want to stay out of the wind...I gotta be close to the house to block the wind or there will be spray paint everywhere."

I got this face:

And then "MOVE!"

So I moved. And then he was all "for real, you're going to do that right next to the air conditioner intake so we wind up with paint all in our house and duct work??"

He was planning our hike for the next day...he has our Vegas hiking trail book in his lap, discussing pros and cons of different trails, distances, dog friendliness, elevations, etc. Blah blah blah. Pick something easy, okay? That's all I ask!

Well, I guess my brain was turned off? I moved again.

I used this primer.

And this color, to match our new color theme to go with this.

Here she is with 3 coats of primer. Pretty, eh? Troy was like, "oooo leave it white, it's looks great!!" Um, no baby. RED! You picked the color palate. Gotta push forward! I'm all about progress.

Here she is with 2 coats of red! Sexy Lady in Red! I did 3 thin and even coats.

Here she is (moved inside) on the entry table by the wall out to the garage that I picked up on Craigslist. God I love that man and his list. Best thing ever! I nabbed it from a lady selling it because she was getting married and they were combining households and getting rid of stuff. It was less than a year old! YAY! And way more proportional for the space than the buffet I had picked up the day before.

So the shade was free. I'm still deciding what to do with it. Because it's not quite right. Stencil it? Cover it with fabric? Or buy a new one? Any votes? I'm trying to decide. In it's current state, it looks a little sad on the vibrant colored lamp and next to my whimsy pig.

Sidenote: You may have noticed that I have a thing for piggy banks that are weird and cool. I love them. I have one that my grandma straight up stole from a restaurant that used them as table centerpieces. I'll tell you about that later. Some one remind me about it and I'll type up a blog post about it. Imagine my grandma hopping into a car in pouring rain with the door being held open by the restaurant host and two pennies bouncing around inside. I almost died. Hilarious.

So, as you can see, it's Troy's new drop spot. There is a metal shell that he puts his keys and wallet into. The drawer contains his wide array of sunglasses and his running watch. One pair for running, one for in the car, and one pair that are crappy for when he can't find the other pairs. His fall-back pair.

Avery's diaper bag drop spot is underneath, with her little shoes. There is also a grey and cream woven basket with rope handles from HomeGoods for Avery's toys. I hate when it looks like ToysRUs exploded in my house. Or PetsMart with dog toys all over the place. I have baskets EVERYWHERE. To hide stuff. Clutter makes me nutso. So instead of pairing down and organizing, I pile it up in something pretty and pretend it's not there. Denial is pretty powerful tool in this house. It's really easy to toss all her toys in there at the end of the day. We have 3 baskets of toys throughout the house that we rotate through with books and toys. Very easy. Optimus has one too. And he has a whole cupboard in our kitchen. I wish I were joking.

Then I have the pretty decor on the right side. It is 2 books that I removed the jackets from, because they match the color scheme. And THE book. Mr. Bible himself. With a pretty vase from HomeGoods and then the Willow Tree statue on top. I got that from a friend when I was having all kinds of trouble getting pregnant with Avery. It's the Angel of Hope :) It's good luck. And pretty. I love it.