Thursday, January 27, 2011
So we're all sickies here and it's no fun.
BUT we are LOVING our new home and so I just had to write a quick note about it.
Things that we love so far:
- That Taylor has his own room and it's upstairs, in the far corner of the house, and over the garage. This means that we can be downstairs making noise or watching a movie and he can't hear us. AND it means that Preston can go up and play in his room and not even be anywhere near Taylor when he's asleep.
- We love the SPACE. Ohhhh my goodness! It's not that our 1600 square foot apartment that we were living in before didn't have enough space, technically, but the layout just wasn't working for us. It had one huge room and then 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. We now have 2300 square feet with seperate rooms (family room, living room, dining room, kitchen, etc) and it's just really nice for everything to have their place. And it's also really nice to be able to go somewhere else in the house besides just one room.
- Having a GARAGE. We can now pull our car inside and not get rained on. It's a luxury that we've never experienced before.
- Lots of CABINET space in the kitchen. We can now put all of our appliances in the kitchen instead of having them all in storage.
- Windows that are LOW enough for Preston to look out of. In our last place, the windows level was about where his nose was, and so in order for him to look out, he would have to climb onto a chair and look out. Now he can walk up to the windows and look out all by himself. It's such a simple pleasure, but we have enjoyed watching him have fun with it. Just yesterday he was looking out the window and we hear "A reindeer! A reindeer!". There was a deer standing in our driveway and he was able to stand there and watch it.
- Taylor having his own room. I know I already said this, but we can't emphasize enough how excited we are to have our master bedroom back to ourselves. We can actually go to bed at night and talk to each other without being afraid that we're going to wake up the baby. And we can crack the window too without being worried that the baby will catch a cold.
- A YARD. Our new backyard is a little over an acre and it's all grass and FENCED. We are soooo excited. Preston has already been outside to run around. And I'm happy that I won't have to worry about him going out into the street or anything.
- No more BEARS. I'm so excited that we will no longer have to worry about black bears. No more having to store our garbage in our laundry room until garbage day so that the bears won't smell it, and no more worrying that we'll spook a bear on our walks outside. No more worrying that if I let Preston play outside that a bear will attack him.
- We can see the sky! This sounds funny, but at our old place there were so many trees that we couldn't really see out anywhere. Don't get me wrong - the trees were lovely but we were very enclosed. Now, across from us is a huge open nature preserve and a huge view of the sky. Last night Will and I went outside and were able to see all the beautiful stars.
- A driveway. We can now park our cars in our driveway whereever we want and wash them as we please.
- A secret playroom for Preston. Under the staircase there is a little storage room and it's Preston's little toy room. It's great because we can throw all of his toys in there and he loves to play in there and he stays pretty quiet in there too. :)
- More than 1 bathroom. We now have 3 toilets. So technically three people could pee at the same time. Pretty exciting. No more waiting in line.
- Close to the beach. Now we don't have to drive 30 - 45 minutes to get to the ocean. It's just down the hill, about 3 minutes away.
- Close to Grandma and Grandpa. G&G are now 5 minutes away. :)
- BEAUTIFUL scenery and small town. We are loving the beauty and the smalltown atmosphere. I grew up here, and so it's a bit surreal to be back here living as a married women with a family - but the town has also grown a lot and so I feel like I'm relearning everything.
I could seriously go on and on....Hopefully soon I'll get some photos up. We've spent the last week unpacking and have most everything put away, with the exception of some boxes in the kitchen. I still need to hang up the boys bedroom decorations. Our master bedroom is still completley unorganized and I don't know here half of my clothes are (I've been rotating the same 2 outfits for a week). We still need to put the TV/Entertainment center together, and my music studio is not put together yet either. I have a pretty beefy desk that will take a while to assemble. We have one computer set up in the kitchen (where I'm typing this), and still have to put up my music studio computer and Will's computer.
But other than that, we're doing good and happy.
Oh, and we REALLY need to go grocery shopping.
Come visit us!
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
It's now January 16th, and I've been meaning to write about some new years resolutions, and just review a little but of our last year. We didn't get to send out Christmas cards this year, or a newsletter or anything. Sometimes I wonder if those things become redundant since most of our friends and family read our blog already, but to be honest, I always LOVE getting them from other people even if I do read their blog!
So this blog post is sort of a "newsletter" from us. Sort of.
...was an interesting year for us. I can definitely say that it was a year that I don't want to repeat, but I can also say that many many good things came out of it as well.
January - We announced that we were expecting baby #2. Will started a new job.
February - Will's dad went into a coma and we travelled to UT to be with his family.
March - Celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in Portland by recreating our wedding day. Found out that we were expecting another boy.
April - Will ran his first 100 mile ultra marathon. I signed on to compose my first filmscore.
May - I finished teaching piano and began my 7th month of pregnancy.
June - Preston turned 2 years old. We went to the Olympic Peninsula for the Thomas Family Reunion. I turned 33 years old.
July - Will turned 32 years old. I had my baby shower. I worked on the film score.
August - Tessha (Will's sister) came to stay with us for the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy to help out. I was miserable. I finished the filmscore for "Minuet", and a collaboration with singer Poppi London. Taylor was born on the 17th! :) I was back in the hospital on the 27th for Pancreatitis and Eclampsia. Will was laid off from his job.
September - I go home from the hospital. We had family photos taken. Taylor was blessed at 6 weeks old. Will painted houses to earn $$.
October - We went camping on the peninsula for 5 days. I started blogging professionally for WTE. Will was still painting houses and job hunting.
November - Had our first Thanksgiving dinner at home together. I was busy accompanying for a violin studio.
December - Started looking for a bigger place to live. Went to Idaho/Utah for Christmas for 2 weeks.
2010 was filled with a lot of health issues for us (mostly me), but I can say that the boys have also all had their fair share of flus and colds as well. But we were also blessed with Taylor and so even though the majority of my health problems were due to having a baby, on the flipside, I would do it all over again to get Taylor here. It was also a year of financial instability. We were very blessed as Will started the new year with a new job, but then in August he was laid off - for the 2nd time in 3 years.
We are very excited for what 2011 may bring us. Hopefully no more health issues, and hopefully some job stability. :) We don't have too many things on the calendar quite yet, but here are a few...
January - We are moving to our first "home" on the 22nd. We are excited to have more space and more bedrooms.
March - Will is running the Chuckanut 50K Ultra Race.
April - Will runs the Lumberjack 50 Mile Race in Port Gamble.
June - Preston turns 3 years old. I turn 34 years old (yikes...I don't even want to think about that yet!). Will runs the Western States 100 Mile Race in lake Tahoe.
July - Will turns 33 years old.
August - Taylor turns 1 year old.
October - I hope to be rapping up recording on my new album.
November - I hope to be rapping up the photography work for the new album and submitting masters and artwork to the cd manufacturer.
December - I hope to be releasing my 3rd album.
Some of my own new year resolutions are to be a better wife/mother, finish another album, lose all the baby weight, not judge people, and to really concentrate on the good in people and not the bad. Will told me what his resolutions were, but I'll let him tell you if he wants.
So anyway, that's what we've been up to and where we're headed. Excited for new adventures ahead!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Preston never falls asleep on his own, on the floor. He had missed his nap that day and instead of letting him take a late nap, we were trying to make him stay away until bedtime to get him back on schedule.
Well he must have been pretty exhausted, because this was him...
Sunday, January 9, 2011
I just ignored it for a few moments, and then Will got up to spy on Preston to see what he was doing.
He would take a bite of his toasted cheese sandwich, then run into the kitchen and wipe his hands on the dishrag, then come back, sit down, and take another bite...and then go back and wipe his hands off again.
Haha. We knew that he didn't like having sticky hands, but thought it was pretty funny that he felt the need to go wipe the grease off of his hands after every single bite.
We gave him a napkin after that.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
And it's not just me, I've seen the stress level in Will rise too.
In 2 weeks from now, we are going to be moving to a new home. This alone will eleviate a huge amount of stress on our shoulders. So to say the least, we are really looking forward to this change.
We have loved living in our 2 bedroom guest house for the past 3 and 1/2 years. When we first moved in, we thought it was perfect for us. A huge spacious great room with vaulted ceilings. A beautiful kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. A big bathroom with tile and marble flooring and two sinks. Two huge rooms - one that we would use as our bedroom, and the other for an office. And then a big storage room as well. No neighbors or reason to have to be quiet or turn our music/tv down. It was the perfect place for a married couple.
Well, and then about a week after we moved in, we found out that I was pregnant with Preston.
Even after Preston was born, it was still a great place to live. Our office was converted into a bedroom-office. Since it was such a huge room, Preston's crib and things took up half of the room, and then our computer and desk took up the other half.
But when he was about 7 months old or so, he still was not sleeping good and us trying to quietly type on the computer while he slept only woke him up. So we eventually moved the "office" out into the great room and Preston peacefully slept, all alone, in his huge bedroom.
And now our "great room" was also the living room, dining room, kitchen, and office. All in one.
Eventually as Preston started being able to crawl and then walk, and then grow tall enough to unlock the front door, I grew very worried about him falling down the stairs outside (there are 24 stairs). But we managed through that stage and eventually he became a pro at the stairs. Though, I have to say, it has only been within the last few months where I feel confident enough in his stair climbing abilities that I don't feel like I have to go and watch him like a hawk or hold his hand.
We found out that, SURPRISE!! I was pregnant with Taylor.
As the pregnancy progressed, I started to try to figure out how we were going to make this work. Obviously, when he was a newborn he would sleep in our bedroom in a portable bassinet, so there would be no reason to hurry and buy a crib yet or try to merge the boys into one bedroom. We figured that by Christmas time, when he would be about 4 months old, it would be a good time to switch him over into Preston's room. And at that time, we were also thinking Preston would transition into a toddler bed.
Those stairs became a burden again, as during the winter rainy months they turn extremely slippery. I had fallen down the stairs at least twice while pregnant, and both of us had both slipped and fallen at least twice while carrying Preston. Thankfully we were all okay, just a few bumps and bruises...but again...another strike on the board for reasons to move.
And the little perfect plan of the kids sleeping together of course didn't work out as smoothly as we thought it would.
With a 2 year old and a newborn in the house, we quickly realized that the majority of our lives would be spent trying to put one or both children to sleep most of the day. And no, I'm really not joking. If you've tried calling my phone, and I didn't answer, chances are I'm trying to put someone to sleep. Or I don't want to wake someone up from sleeping by chatting on the phone (which is why you usually get emails from me instead of phone calls).
At first, Taylor slept anywhere from 20 -22 hours a day. He would be easily woken up by Preston's loud voice. The first thing we thought, of course, was that Taylor just needed to get used to having noise around and learn to sleep through it.
Sounds so easy, huh. But, he did come with a personality and temporament of his own and it didn't include tolerating noise while sleeping. Despite all of our efforts, he just really needed peace and quiet in order to sleep.
We were constantly shushing Preston and telling him to be quiet, or that he needs to whisper. Preston actually didn't know what whispering meant or how to be quiet, but I can tell you that NOW he does. :) It took a couple of months for him to learn how to be quiet. And yeah he'll be quiet when you tell him to, but only for about a minute and then he forgets and is loud again. It can be quite frustrating when you've spent 20 minutes trying to get a baby to sleep, only have him woken up a few minutes after you just laid him down.
Again...like I said before, you find yourself spending the majority of your time trying to put one or both children to sleep.
Will and I have continually wondered how on earth his mom did it with 10 kids. How did they all sleep??
It's eventually gotten to the point now, where we feel like we can't do anything in our home if someone is sleeping. Which, chances are, someone (mainly Taylor) usually is.
If Preston is asleep in his room, then we have Taylor sleeping in our bedroom, that leaves us one huge great room to hang out in. And any amount of talking, doing dishes, practicing a piano, flushing a toilet, opening the garage doors below us (we are above a garage), starting up a car motor, or closing a door....can be heard inside both rooms in almost perfect clarity.
We have a white noise machine that we bought when Preston was a baby, and we have that going where Taylor sleeps but you can still hear noises. In fact, you can hear someone sneeze.
If someone comes to the front door and knocks on it, well, Preston's bed is right on the other side of the wall that is opposite the front door. It wakes him up.
About a month ago, Will got so tired of not being able to have adequate peace and quiet time to job search (his computer was in the kitchen area and Preston just wanted his attention 24/7), that he moved his computer into our bedroom. Well this meant that Taylor would be kicked out of our bedroom for sleeping. He couldn't sleep in Preston's room, and so it left the bathroom. So the bathroom then officially became Taylor's daytime bedroom. Heaven forbid if you should need to use the toilet or take a shower...you would have to hold it because you do NOT want to wake him up, knowing that you will then spend the next 20 minutes trying to get him back to sleep.
And let's not forget the countless times Preston, not realizing that Taylor was sleeping in the bathroom, would barge in there, be loud, get in trouble for being in there, and then exit with a slam of the door. And then we all hear "WAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!"
Will would then lock himself into our bedroom so that he wouldn't be bothered so that he could work, and Preston would get upset that he wasn't allowed in there and would either pull on the door handle over and over and over or he would whine, quite loudly. And since our bedroom door is right next to the bathroom door, I'm sure you could guess what happened next. Yep. One upset awake baby.
Lately, it's gotten to the point where we feel like muted prisoners in our own home during naptimes. We can't go into the bedrooms or bathrooms, can't get work done, cleaning is out since that would wake them up as well....so we end up feeling frustrated because we have a huge list of things to do, and it seems to take weeks to do it because of the limited time we have when everyone is awake and when we have access into a certain room.
And then of course, our "great room", has basically turned into one big room that has EVERYTHING in it. I mean EVERYTHING. There is no other place to escape in our house.
So what was once a perfect pad for a young married couple, turned into the worst setup for a small family living situation.
So we started looking to move elsewhere.
We looked in our area and quickly realized that unless we wanted to move back into an apartment (which wouldn't work for us with a grand piano and all of our stuff that we've accumilated), there was no way we could afford to go up in size and afford it. To rent a home here, even a small, older home....would be around $2K a month and that doesn't even include all the utilities. Even apartments would only be around $500 less.
So that is what lead us to looking outside of our area...and eventually leading us to the home where we will be moving.
Cheaper. Bigger. Better.
We are actually going to be renting a home of a friend who is moving to Florida for work. They have the home up for sale, and we'll be renting it while it's for sale. With Will's job situation not entirely figured out, we didn't want to buy or be stuck in a longterm contract.
The home is 2500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, Family room AND living room AND dining room (all separate rooms!!), plus 2 car garage, big kitchen, and a HUGE 1.5 acre backyard full of grass (fully fenced). Coincidently, we will only be 5 minutes away from my parents and so the boys will get to play with Grandma and Grandpa whenever they want, or go to the beach (which is also less than 5 min down the road).
Last night, after being woken up by Taylor almost once an hour...then attempting to let him cry it out (because let's face it, we really should be starting sleep training right now but haven't been able to), and then finally just bringing him into bed with us and I THINK I got maybe 2 hours of sleep total? ... It's safe to say that we are very much looking forward to our move and to the future and what it might possibly bring to us.
Right now, I can say that it's going to bring us all some better sleep.