Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vivienne's Weekly Photo #18

Week 18 brought with it another visit to the Pediatrician for Vivienne's 4 month well baby visit.  She is doing great and is now 15 pounds and 24 inches long!  She endured the shots like a champ (mom and dad didn't) and is a happy girl again.  She was also introduced to her fans at our neighborhood BBQ on Sunday for Memorial Day.  We are now buying her 3-6 month size clothes and she is officially out of the swaddle to sleep at night.  She is sleeping like a pro also, giving us 8-9 hour stretches.  She is still just so happy and loves to laugh and play.  Her nickname now is Grabby McGrabby Hands.


I love that she kind of looks like Air Jordan in this week's picture.  So funny.  Her little laughs just melt my heart and this outtake captures one perfectly!


This one is mid squeal I believe.  She has also found her super high squealing voice when she is excited.  


She is such a bundle of joy!   

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Youngs Gone Wild

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend, we certainly did.  It was a pleasure to be able to spend extra time with the family.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen that we braved the line at Franklin BBQ (as seen on Anthony Bourdain No Reservations below) in Austin for the first time.  


It was also Vivienne's first BBQ experience, not that she was able to taste any but she had the experience of Texas' finest.  Been, there, done that, bought the t-shirt onesie.  To all who have not been, it was totally worth the wait.



After we had filled our bellies with smokey goodness, we headed west to Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary.  It was our first time to see it and it was nice and quaint, tucked in to the hill country with gravel pathways.  There are lots of animals that have been rescued and given a safe place to live.  Devin and I are big animal lovers and it is nice to help support the efforts of the sanctuary.  Among the various animals there were:

Lions,

   
Tigers,


and Bears!


Vivienne started out good, and was pretty excited...this is the extent of the excitement.  



 We were greeted at the office by the welcoming committee...of one.


Devin did a great job capturing some beautiful pictures.  Not bad for a novice I'd say. 




Vivienne really enjoyed the trees.  It luckily is very shaded there.  And no V doesn't partake of Gatorade...yet.


 We had to take this picture for Roxie.  I might need to frame it for over her dog bowl.  


We were jealous of this staff person.  I want to pet a tortoise!


All in all, in was a great family day.  We had lots of fun and by the end of our Zoo tour we had this.  


How was your Memorial Day weekend?  Did you get wild like we did with the animals?  Did you get a big project finished?  Did you take it easy with a nice cocktail?  Do tell.   

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vivienne's Weekly Photo #17

Week 17 has come and gone.  Vivienne continues to charm us on a daily basis and is getting stronger every day.  We are still working on perfecting tummy time and mastering the hand grab.  She is a pro at grabbing her left foot, almost a pro with the right.  She loves to spend time in the evening in the backyard with dad inspecting the trees, listening to the birds and feeling the breeze. We try to take walks in the evenings after dinner while it is still on the cooler side.  She loves for me to read the touch and feel Cuddly Animals book that a dear friend sent to her.  She is such a happy girl and makes our hearts burst with happiness when we hear her laugh and squeal with delight. 

   
She has gotten very comfortable with the weekly photo process and loves to watch me unfold and spread out the weeks fabric.  This week's outtakes are simply of her having a great time.


I can't get enough of those rolls on her arms and legs!  And that hair is getting so long, she loves to caress it with her hands.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A New Gate

After we completed the new section of fence in our back yard, we had some leftover fence pickets to deal with.  Devin decided to reconstruct our gate on the opposite side of the house.  Good plan, it was in desperate need.  


The gate had completely fallen off it's hinges and was virtually impossible to open and close due the the major dragging on the ground.  The hardware was still in decent shape and was salvageable so Devin replaced the entire section of fence that the gate was on since we had enough pickets.  


Devin removed the hardware and cleaned it up a bit.  Removed any rust spots with a grinder and applied a nice clean coat of spay paint to make it look better and protect it from the elements.  Good ole Rustoleum in a hammered finish did the job. 


As the hardware was drying, he went to work demolishing the old fence.


He left the old posts, since they were in decent shape.  When it comes time to replace the adjacent section of fence with new metal posts, this section will be attached to new metal posts as well.  But for the time being the old ones work.
 

So he measured and cut the cross pieces out of a couple of pieces of treated 2x4 that he picked up from Home Depot...


and started installing them on the posts.  Leveling them as he went.  


Then he started adding the pickets with the help of a trusty string link like we used for opposite side fence construction. 

  

When he got to the actual gate part, he basically built it in place.  He first attached the top and bottom cross pieces and a couple of pickets to the post with the hinges and then added the rest of the pickets so that they would be in line with the string line.  
 

Once all of the pickets were up, he added the cross braces for the gate.  

 
Oh and of course he had help!  I assisted with a few of the details while Roxie and Chloe baby sat. 

 
Devin finished it all up with the newly refinished hardware.  I think it looks amazing, especially in contrast to what the old fence looked like.  You can see by our neighbors section what the old was.  


The refinished hardware looks awesome in the black hammered finish.  

 

And the gate works beautifully now!  


Awesome work hubby!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vivienne's Weekly Photo #16

This week's photo is a little late since we spent the weekend at my mom's.  But better late than never.  This week marks Vivienne's 4 month birthday!  She is so good at growing and is having such a good time doing it.  After getting back on schedule with her sleeping from our trip, she is back to her happy self.  She has also discovered her voice and is screeching out of excitement.  I think she has also grown longer because she sits a little taller in her exersaucer.  She loves to fly with her daddy and dine with her mommy.    


This week's outtakes are pretty good.  This is her "I'm ready for my close up Mr. DeMille" look.


This one is her reaction to Sophie the squeaking giraffe.  She thinks she is so funny!

 
 This is her so excited talking look. 


This girl has provided us with 4 months of pure bliss and we look forward to much more.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

This year marked my first Mother's Day as a mom.  It is by far the best feeling to be honored for being a mother and I wouldn't change a thing about it.  This year we packed up our little family and headed west to my mother's house.  It was such a blessing to be able to spend this special day with my daughter, mom and grandmother.  It thrills me that I am able to share our precious baby girl with my granny and Vivienne is very lucky to be able to spend some time with her GG.  


We took the opportunity to snap a few of these pics of the 4 generations all together.  


I will cherish them always.
 

Vivienne took the liberty of crafting me some very special Mother's Day artwork with a little help from her daddy before we left town.  I can't wait to get them hung on the wall.
 

It was overall a very special weekend for our family.
 


It was also the perfect opportunity for Vivienne to wear the dress her Gran D made for her!  She looked so cute in it!  
 

Thanks mom for being so wonderful! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vivienne's Weekly Photo #15

Week 15 and nothings stopping her now.  Vivienne is such a joy and she is having a great time growing and learning everyday.  We have actually heard her laugh real laughs lately which makes our hearts sing.  Her motor skills are getting more and more fine tuned as she continues to grab toys and "help" you read books to her.  She is very interested in her furry siblings and will stare at them and smile when they get close.  She is also learning how to DIY with mom and dad as she has been watching lots of work going on lately.  

  
She was so happy during this photo session which is great considering she was coming down with a small cold and ear infection.  Nothing can keep her from smiling and laughing at her Sophie Giraffe...she loves her squeeks!


She has also been in full tongue mode lately, especially when it comes to spitting out her medicine.  :(

  

I simply adore this happy girl!  


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Shelves Are Up

After several weekends of doing little chunks of work on the kitchen shelves, they are finally complete.  Hurray!  Honestly they have been finished for a little while, but I hadn't put anything on them.  Remember when I told you of my plan and showed you this before pic?


I decided to use brackets from IKEA at ~$6 each and a piece of 2x16 from Lowes at ~$20  to create the shelves.  We had the friendly folks at Lowes cut our 12ft 2x16 piece of whiteboard down to 2.5ft lengths to give us 4 shelves plus a little left over (I have plans for that extra piece).


To install the shelves I used a laser level, 4 ft bubble level, stud finder, painters tape, drill and screws.  It was fairly easy to install the brackets using painters tape to locate your mounting plate on the back of the bracket.  First I determined how high above the dresser I wanted the bottom shelves to be (20 in.) and then I placed my laser level at that height and ran a piece of painters tape along the laser line.  Then I put a piece of painters tape on the back of the bracket facing out so that when placed against the wall it will stick.  I poke a hole where the mounting plate is and hold the bracket up to the wall even with my leveled line, remove the bracket leaving the tape with the hole to determine where the screw will go. 


I lucked out by having studs evenly spaced where I wanted to place my shelves so I just screwed right into the stud where my hole was marked on the tape.  Then you can simply remove the tape from the screw and place your bracket.  Repeat for the other brackets, and I double checked myself by using the long 4 ft. bubble level from bracket to bracket.  I also leveled the bracket vertically before screwing the bottom screw in to make sure they were plumb.  
 
After I had all the brackets up and double checked my level with the shelves, I took the shelves outside to paint.  I used left over paint from our kitchen cabinets and primer that we always have.  


After one coat of primer and two coats of paint were dry, they were ready for installation.  As you can see in the pic below, that step was completed prior to our new fence, and images like these make us appreciate the beautiful new fence that much more. 


I put the shelves on the brackets and screwed them in to the bracket from the bottom to make sure they are secure.  Then I framed one of my Etsy Shop prints to put in the center of the shelves. 


I love how it fills the wall and gives that space a purpose and more storage space.  Then I added a few things and called it good for now.  Of course I still want to frame out the refrigerator and add a counter top from the fridge to the cabinet, but all in due time.  


To recap, here is a good ol' before and after. 



I like it.  Not bad for $56.  That project is officially marked off of the list. 

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