Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! Max had his first business trip of the year this week (and first since we moved to the new house). We we have been missing Dada and are ready for him to be home tonight! Yeah! Here's what else is on my mind this wintry Friday...

1. Our playroom! 
From day one it has been my very favorite spot in the new house. It's upstairs and had skylights so we get lots of sun here, and we kept everything soft and carpeted for little man to be comfy. We mixed and matched all of our old furniture when we moved to the new house because the new house's layout was so different from our old one; we actually didn't have a "playroom" at the old house, so this new room was drawn from a bunch of different places (the sofas are from our old den, the teepee from the former great room, the ottoman and wall art from Parker's old room...). We are still missing our children's bookcase that will go under the wall art (it was damaged in the move so we are in the middle of our claim to the moving company) but other than that it's a finished space! We've already logged in so much time in this room - I love it!

2. My budding artist
We usually have "coloring" time in the evenings while I'm fixing dinner. Parker sits in his highchair and goes to town with his "gwuhs" (crayons). I decided to mix it up last night and brought out a leftover set of watercolors from my classroom days. Little man had a blast! I hopped on Amazon and ordered bigger (more toddler appropriate) brushes for him, plus liquid watercolors that I read are also more toddler friendly (they are easier to keep separate while painting versus the trays that can end up all mixed together). Parker may or may not have started painting his hands and arms during his session, eek! 

3. Speaking of art
We have this Michelle Armas print coming our way, yippee! It's funny, we "downsized" moving into the new house (by about 800 square feet!) yet we have way more walls now (our first house was very, very open so there were very few walls). I'm having so much fun planning out gallery walls and picking out art like this canvas! The colors are so bright and vibrant, it makes me happy just looking at it. Now, to decide where it will go...


4. Yum
Max's business travel was to Atlanta. As soon as I heard his destination, I reminded him that Richard Blais (Top Chef All Stars Winner) has a restaurant there and he had to go. He was totally on board and I made his reservation for "one" from my phone right then and there. Max dined at the restaurant (The Spence) last night and I got a play-by-play via text pictures. I was twelve kinds of jealous. Apparently this semifreddo was amazing. Sigh. I'm trying to convince Max we need to do a family Atlanta trip for Parker's upcoming birthday, partially for their awesome aquarium and partially for this dessert. 

5. Bye-Bye Boot!
This is our last photo with the boot...

That's right, as of Monday we have been boot-free! Parker seriously was such a trooper with his broken leg, still being his happy go-lucky self even though he couldn't walk. The leg was rather shaky when he fist attempted walking, but he is almost back to normal! He's quite a bit slower than pre-fracture Parker, and I am constantly worried about him falling again, but it's amazing to see him up and walking again! My heart is so happy!

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci   

and DarciChristinaApril, and Natasha 



January Reads

I didn't make a New Year's resolution for 2015, but I did make goals to drink more water (check), use my new Clarisoniceach night (check), and read before bed instead of fiddling on my phone. You know, good, old fashioned paper reading. I had read that screens before bed can disrupt sleep, so this was my attempt at a better night's rest.  I hadn't been sleeping so well, waking up all through the night with headaches from clenching my jaw - yes, this was probably due more to the stress from my little family relocating cross-country, and most recently my sweet baby having a broken leg, but still, I was hoping that having some quiet book time in bed to wind down my day would help me sleep better.

Shopaholic to the Stars

I started off the year with super light chic lit: Shopaholic to the Stars. Yes, this is a series, and yes I started reading the Shopaholics in college. But I couldn't resist snatching this latest one up. I actually laughed out loud at parts, following the main character (a Brit!) making her way in Southern California. Unlike all the other Shopaholic books which are pretty isolated, this one (spoiler alert!) leaves off with a cliff hanger and a second half book to-follow (slightly annoying as I enjoy closure, but what are you gonna do?). I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys silly, light hearted stories and wants to be entertained. 

Next up was The Silent Wife. I was being a photo stalker and saw this title in the background of a picture one of my Arizona mom friends sent to me. She had just started reading it, and said that it had been compared to Gone Girl. I was sold and snatched it up via Amazon Prime before I even put my phone down. This book started off amazing for me. I was so into it, and thought that the author was doing a phenomenal job of painting the characters in a way that made the reader really dissect them and their psyches. However, I had been set up to expect Gone Girl. I kept waiting for something big to happen. I felt like I was in the kitchen watching a simmering pot of water, waiting for it to boil. It never did. So. Disappointing. I was expecting much more crazy to come out, for shocking aspects of the characters' personalities and pasts to smack me in the face à la GG. The entire second half of the book was just downhill for me. My Arizona mom friend agreed. I'm not sure if it was doomed for us because we had expectations going in that it would be different? If you've read this book, please tell what you thought!

After reading The Silent Wife, I needed another light and fluffy read (it was, after all, about a murder. No spoiler alert there, the first page names the killer to-be). I decided to pick up the latest by Andy Cohen (Bravo TV Genius). Max and I enjoyed watching his show Watch What Happens Live back when we had cable. Andy is fun and quirky (he gives a Mazel of the day on each show!) and since I love all things Bravo (Top Chef, The Real Housewives) I thought this book would explain a bit of the ins and outs of the network. The book is structured as a diary, basically a running internal monologue of Andy Cohen (no plot, story line, etc). If you can put up with that, it's mildly entertaining (my favorites were bits of his VIP life like entering a hotel room that had been stocked with his favorite foods and framed Instagram photos of his dog- I mean, how awesome would that be?). Also, this book is only for those who can decipher celebrity acronyms like SJP and NPH. Others need not apply. (SJP and NPH are Sarah Jessica Parker and Neil Patrick Harris, in case you wanted to quiz your celeb knowledge).  

The Girl on the Train

Next up is another Gone Girl comparison - The Girl on the Train. I'm trying to hold my expectations low so I'm not disappointed again. If Gillian Flynn could just publish another book that'd be great, thanks. 

The New House!

I'm in love! Yes, with my hunky husband, obviously, and yes with my darling toddler, of course. But most recently, I have fallen head over heels for our new house! We celebrated one month in the new house on January 18th, and each day, I find more and more reasons to appreciate it and love it just a little bit more.

Relocation was not easy, and finding our Alabama home took many hours on the internet, many days touring, and even a some tears (all mine, and I did cry in front of our realtor which she said was a first, eek!). You see, when we decided that we would be moving from Scottsdale to Huntsville, we assumed we could get more house for less money. I envisioned a gorgeous brand new kitchen with a gas stove, and told myself it was okay that we were moving where we didn't know a soul, because I could bake in my beautiful kitchen!

We were in no way expecting to find a house like we had in Scottsdale (it was, in a nutshell, our dream house complete with a theatre and resort-style backyard). But, let's be honest, we were moving from a metropolitan area (a resort destination!) to a small city in the south. We thought we could get a lot more for our money in Alabama. We were wrong. Part of the problem was that we were only interested in buying in a few specific areas of town, close to the center and where Max would have a 20 minute or less commute to work. These also happened to be the older, established areas, which was good and bad. Older and more established meant huge trees and a "neighborhood" feel. It also meant that the houses were fifty-plus years old (and small, since houses weren't built as big back then, or with master suites for that matter). A number of the houses in these areas have been "moved off the lot" and replaced with gorgeous new builds. These were nearly twice our budget. What we could afford were the houses that had been remodeled and built onto, giving us the space (4+ bedrooms) that we wanted. Here's where the tears come in. We saw the houses in our price range that matched our wishes, and all of them had been remodeled and built onto several times and by several owners. What emerged was a mishmash of construction and a wonky fun-house type feel (and not in the good way). I began to worry that we'd never find a house that felt like home!

We played around with the idea of buying a house that needed work (something I really didn't want to take on after already relocating cross-country), and with buying a newer, nicer style home in a neighborhood that wasn't at the top of our list. Then, we saw "the one", though neither Max nor I knew it at the time. I liked it for sure - it was located twenty minutes walking from the downtown square, on a cute street where most of the homes have been rebuilt or redone, and it had been remodeled and built onto, with almost everything we wanted: a big backyard for Parker, an office for Max, a two-car garage plus extra work space, four bedrooms, three and a half baths... it was on a corner lot, to boot. It still took a second look and a night of sleep before we put our offer in, I think mostly because the house was SO different from our Scottsdale home.

The house we found was originally built in 1955. Whoa. That means it will turn sixty this year and we totally want to celebrate it. It also means that the neighborhood has been here that long, wow. Walking into the downtown we pass even older, historic homes, which I think is very neat (and totally novel coming from Arizona, a state that didn't even join the union until 1912). The remodel on our house happened in 2004, and it covered a ton including the kitchen and all bathrooms, so we get to enjoy funky quirks of an older house with updates and a modern feel. I love it.

Move-in day was such a happy day for us. After six months of being apart (followed by weeks of living in the one-bedroom condo) we were ready to have our own place!

Parker waited patiently for the "kkkkuh"(truck).

Truck number one...

 Followed by two and three. I think we had around 20,000 pounds of stuff. Wow.

Max stayed outside (in the cold, thanks, babe!) and kept tally of the boxes as they came into the house. 

Parker and I directed the movers once the boxes were inside. We had the nicest, nicest moving crew! 

I swear I wanted to kiss all our furniture when I saw it. And I had a major reunion with my clothes. It was also funny that our house had been packed up at the end of October, but was being unpacked right before Christmas, so we were looking at things like my blackboards that read "Stay Scary" and "Happy Halloween".

I didn't get my dream kitchen or gas stove (I'm still holding out for white shiny subway tile, white marble counters, and a Viking range, eee!), but I did get a ginormous walk-in closet. As in, one of the remodel changes was to convert an original room into the master closet. Always a good choice, people. I mean, the closet has windows!! This is my area, and Max's is on the other side of the window. My shoes have never been so happy.

The previous owners also added stairs and a second story, so our top level (boasting two rooms with en-suite bathrooms, an open room which we are using as Parker's play area, and a storage area) is completely new. Downstairs was added onto as well, so we have two (two!) mudrooms, one that's so big I'm using it as my craft room.

We are slowly getting settled. We started off with a bang and got lots done very quickly, but this last 20% or so (hanging things on the walls, getting curtains up, those few boxes still unopened in the second guest room) is still hanging there, not urgent enough to really motivate us, but annoying enough that the house still doesn't feel "finished" - does anyone feel me on this one? Plus there is they techy-stuff that Max is working on (hanging security cameras and making our house "smart" like the last one with home automation). There is not one single room that's 100% yet, but as they finish I promise to post befores and afters!


PCK 20-22 Months

Our sweet Parker Campbell Klein turned 22 months old on January 18th! We moved to the condo in Alabama during month 20, and into the new house on his 21-month birthday, so we’ve all been enjoying our first cold winter here in Huntsville as a family. Parker continues to be curious, observant, happy, playful, and just the sweetest 22-month old you could imagine.

Clothes: Though Parker went his entire fist year without needing a coat (Scottsdale sunshine, I miss you!), our first Alabama winter had definitely called for a jacket (and hats, mittens, etc. The lowest low we’ve seen so far was five degrees, eek!). Parker can still fit into some 18-month clothing, but it’s all mostly 2T now. We’re estimating he’s around 25 pounds (when we flew to California for Christmas, the luggage scale said 24.8… yes, the luggage scale, ha!).

Health: The day after moving into the new house, littlest man fell on the wood floor and busted another tooth. Blood all over his face and one very freaked out mamma. The kicker was that he was barefoot on an open flat wood floor. There was nothing to trip on, nothing to make him slip, he just fell. I came to the realization that even bubble wrapping him would not prevent injuries.

The very next week, Max and I were in the den with Parker when he, again, fell while walking. This time, it was clear that something was wrong with his leg. He refused to walk or put any weight on it. We phoned our pediatrician in Arizona since we hadn’t changed to a local one, and we were directed to get him to a doctor over the next couple days. Parker’s leg wasn’t swollen, and he didn’t seem to be in pain, he just couldn’t walk on it. The next morning was filled with calls to every ped office I could find. The lesson here – set up a new pediatrician before you move because when you actually need one, it will be too late. Every single one refused to see us and required multiple days waiting period for paperwork. So, it was off to the Pediatric ER we all went. 

We were actually really happy with how nice it was, and we appreciated that it was a mere four blocks away from our new house. They sprung some x-rays on us, which scared little man (we didn’t get to front load him about what was happening) so he cried right through them. Le sad. Then the doctor looked at his leg and moved it (more crying because that hurt him), and declared that little man had a fractured tibia. Oh, noooo. A nurse came in and wrapped Parker’s leg up in a splint. He was a champ for this part, and we even got smiles.

Two days later we saw the pediatric orthopedist, and Parker's splint was changed to a boot (this was an awesome switch as we could take the boot off for baths and sleeping). We knew they would be taking more x-rays, so we were able to tell Parker beforehand what was happening. This time he was awesome in the x-ray room! No crying and he even held still when he was supposed to. We loved our orthopedist, who was also just a two-minute drive away (our new house it winning all sorts of location points).

I took comfort in the fact that the injury was something that would eventually heal. Parker didn’t have a chronic condition, or something that needed surgery. Really, he’s been a healthy little man and we are very blessed. Still, it was very hard getting the broken leg diagnosis, and even harder seeing our little guy who was a constant mover unable to walk. Watching his scoot around on his toosh? Heartbreaking! We of course are all trying to make the best of it. Almost four weeks in, he can now walk a bit while holding onto our hands, but he’s still very shaky. We have a few more weeks to go before he’s 100% again.

Sleep: Parker is down to just one afternoon nap a day and a 10-11 hour overnight sleep. Parker goes down so sweetly for both naps and nighttime sleep, getting songs, stories and snuggles beforehand, then happily laying down in his crib, always with one or two books and one or two stuffed animals. Lately he’s been wanting the books Goodnight Texas and Goodnight Baby Jesus in his crib. A while ago when one of the only words he could say was “gorilla”, he slept with a mini gorilla my parents sent to us. Lately, he’s been into the stuffed bunny I bought when I was pregnant. It’s his little comfort item and he’ll hug it and rub his face on it, and he even wanted it with him when we went to the ER and orthopedist. The two nights Parker had to sleep with his splint were a little rough and he had trouble falling asleep, but we found that totally understandable as we imagined it was quite uncomfortable. We were so happy when it came off!

Diet: Parker has been OBSESSED with orange creamsicle smoothies. Obsessed. I made one for myself a couple weeks ago (blend orange juice, one orange, a frozen banana and plain yogurt plus a splash of vanilla extract, and thank me later because it’s heaven). Anyway, Parker wanted a sip and ended up downing my entire smoothie, and then asking for another one later. He did a little sitting happy dance with his legs while he was sipping them, which was adorable but also a little heartbreaking since he usually does a standing happy dance but couldn’t with the broken leg. He continued to ask for the creamsicle smoothies all day every day for the next week or so. I mean, we’re talking wake up in the morning and it’s pretty much the first thing out of his mouth. Now he’ll even imitate the blender sound and do a little shake with his head and hands. Other favorite foods are cream cheese, mango, dried strawberries, nuts (which he munched on for the first time in first class!) and eggs (scrambled or hard boiled).

Likes: Parker’s very favorite things are road signs. He’s loved stop signs as long as I can remember (we’re talking single digit months old and squealing at them while on walks) and it’s been amazing to see this love grow as he develops. He began naming them whenever he saw one, and now also points out the letter “T” on them. When we moved to Huntsville in November, he began to see a lot of yield signs, which became his new favorite (he calls them “yeee”). He’s a fan of the triangle shape, and now calls all triangles “yeee”s, though we try to explain the difference. Parker was a lucky little man and was gifted stop signs and yield signs at Christmas, as well as an exit sign that “ghlooooohw!”s. Yes, his love of exit signs has not let up. In fact, now he can tell us about them. We’ll be sitting in the kitchen, and he’ll tell me “Cahcah” (Costco) and I’ll say “Oh, are you thinking about our trip to Costco?” and he’ll reply, “Da! Eyeh!” (Yes, the Exit signs) because we see lots of Exit signs at Costco. He’ll repeat this story for whatever store or restaurant is on his mind because of course we see exit signs everywhere.

Parker continues to love books, and will want to find his favorite parts or pictures over and over. He loves riding in Dada’s project car. Mama and Parker will start heading into Pepper and Parker will protest and point to the garage and say “NeeNe!” (Sandy, Dada’s 911 convertible). Recently, Parker has been really interested in trains, which he calls “choo choo”s (we’ve noticed that he calls many things by the sound they make “Bah! Bah!” for a sheep, “Boo Boo Bee” for a ball, “Dee Doh” for the doorbell, “Goo Goo Gee Goo” for the washing machine, the list goes on). He loves going over train crossings and opens and closes his hands to represent the flashing lights when the trains are going by.

Now that we are “in the country” we also see cows on a semi-regular basis. None this cute, obvi.

Anyway, there is a farm right in the middle of the city that we drive by each time we go to Target. Parker gets super excited whenever we are driving by and makes his moo sound, and also makes an eating sound (sometimes the cows are chewing on grass). Then he’ll say “bye-bye” when we pass them. Little man also loves dogs, and requests to see them if we are facetiming family. Speaking of computers, we are holding with our “limited screen time and zero television” stance. Parker is sometimes allowed to look at pictures on our phones (like during an airplane flight on an 18-hour travel day or while waiting for the doctor at the ER, or just on the random occasion he wants to see a picture of a “choo choo”), but he has still never watched a TV show and the television is always off when he is awake. In fact, we haven’t even hooked our cable up yet at the new house, and it’s kind of nice not having that bill! Parker does like to listen to music, though, and will sometimes request we put some on. T-Swift is still his fave! He also loves being sung to; current favorites are Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABCs, London Bridge, Frère Jacques, and I Love the Mountains. He will request them anytime and anyplace (during dinner, out shopping) and we love it. 

If Parker is up early enough on a weekday, he gets to “shave” with Dada, which is pretty much the best thing ever. 

Dada holds him and they both get shaving cream, and Parker waves and says “bye bye” as Dada shaves and the cream disappears. Then it’s his turn and Dada uses the back of the razor to “shave” little man’s face. He’s pretty much giddy with excitement the whole time. In fact, he’ll mimic shaving throughout the day with his hand, and I once said the word “shapes” to him while describing his star and circle and square blocks, and he got really excited thinking I had said “shave”, poor guy! We also have a bit of an issue with the words “blink” and “blank” – Parker knows blink (and loves blinking/flashing lights) so if we try to explain the word “blank” he only hears “blink”. It’s oh so confusing.

Social: Parker now laughs whenever we laugh, or anyone around us for that matter. We’ll be out at lunch and he’ll start laughing because the table across from us is. Parker is such an observer, and will say “bye-bye” and wave when diners stand up and start putting their jackets on. He’ll also say good-bye to anyone walking past our table. He loves waving and is such a little ham when we interact with people when we’re out and about.

Parker has loved peek-a-boo for some time, and has stepped up his game. He’ll now hide (in his teepee, under a blanket, in a cabinet or a box) and instead of just making noise “Eh! Eh!” he will “trick” us into thinking there is a lion “Raaah!” or a cow “Mmmm!” or a sheep “Ba! Ba!” or even one of the family members inside. It’s hilarious.

Milestones: Parker is now self-aware! He knows the baby (“baybee”) he sees in the mirror is himself! Dada discovered this when he took Parker to the mirror and Parker pointed at the ice cream on his face and said “uh-oh!” He will also point to his chest or tummy and look down at it when we ask where Parker is or where the baby is or when we say “you”. Parker can identify some colors (blue, purple, orange, yellow, brown) with some consistency. He’s also into mimicking words and phrases that we say, like “Ohhhhh, yeah!”

Parker has also moved from talking about concrete things that he sees in the room (his milk, the light) to telling us whatever he’s thinking about or remembering. It’s freaking awesome as a parent to experience this. It’s also allowed Parker to request things. My favorite is when he asks for specific songs or poems I recite at naptime or bedtime. He’s been especially loving Dada singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Mama reciting Nancy Tillman’s On the Night You Were Born. We seriously could not be more in love with our little man. I realize he will be two in just a couple months, but he is still feeling like such a baby these days. I’m cherishing every snuggle, every time he lays his head on my chest while sucking his index finger, every time I hear him say “Mama Dada!” just because he’s thinking about us. We really couldn’t be luckier.

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