Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vivienne's Weekly Photo #22

Not only has Vivienne mastered sitting up during this 5.5 month milestone week, she is also becoming very well versed in grabbing toys and shaking them like crazy.  With that said, she loves toys that make noise like rattles and such.  She is very good at grabbing the toys, holding them, switching them from one hand to the other and then dropping them on the floor for mom and dad to pick up.  So it begins.  Her days are getting longer as she sleeps less during the day and more during the night which is a good thing.  She is able to spend more time during the light hours playing and learning and is pretty much exhausted by 8 pm.  She is also become much more mobile as this week's pics will show.  She loves to flail her arms and legs around when she is laying on her back and it is  awesome to see the amount of joy this gives her!


Sometimes she has to stop and focus on the sound of the camera shutter...

 
and then it's on again.  Crazy arms and legs... 

 
then stop to enjoy the warm sun coming in the windows. 



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A New Painted Floor

Remember way back in March when I posted about removing the carpet from our dining room and planning to paint the concrete sub floor?  


Well, the paint is down my friends, the paint is down.  For the last 3+ months we have been living with our dining room sans flooring.  For lots of reasons, but mainly due to the fact that other projects were necessary before we did the floor (I'm talking about you fence) and that we have either had company or traveling or just trying to enjoy our baby girl as much as we can on the weekends. 

 
Another big issue was what we were going to do with the paint.  I don't think Devin and I were completely sold with our initial idea of making the paint look like wood.  In the end we decided to go solid, as in solid gray for the floor.  With so much pattern on the wall with the wall paper, we decided to go a little more subdued on the floor and add the pattern in a rug under the table and chairs.  So, we removed all the furniture, again, and started to paint.  We used Valspar's Latex Porch and Floor paint.  It is made to go on wood or concrete and is durable and scratch resistant and happens to be low odor as well.  Score!  Valspar also makes a anti-skid version of this paint if you were going to put it outdoors in a wet area, we know this because we mistakenly purchased the anti-skid version first.  You can have this paint tinted to any color you would like but we opted to use the "dark gray" color that is premixed.  Our idea is that if we decide down the line to add some pattern, we can, with this dark gray as our base coat. 


Before we started painting, we swept and vacuumed the floor to ensure no pesky dust, animal hair or who knows what else was on the floor to get in our paint.  Then I started cutting in since you can't very well walk on the wet paint to cut in after you roll.   


Then Devin rock-n-rolled. 


This is what it looked like after one coat.  


According to the paint's directions, it is ready for "light use" after 4-6 hours, so after about 6 hours we applied the second and final coat.  


We then let the second coat dry and cure for 24 hours.  I definitely didn't want to ruin the floor, by moving stuff in too soon. 


Before we moved the furniture back in, I installed the rug in the center of the room where the table would go.  I opted to use carpet tiles because they are low profile, durable, and I love the aesthetic.  Devin and I agreed to a layout of the tiles and I got to work.  


To connect all the tiles together I used the adhesive squares used to install these commercially.  They are super duty, strong and amazing. 



 
Oh and I had help...


The finished rug looked great and complemented the wall paper nicely without competing too much.  

 
The new floor color dresses up the space a little bit more I think.  Now I want to tackle the big wall opposite the window.  It currently has a big print in the center, but I'm not loving it.  Perhaps something with a little more architectural interest.  


For fun, let's look at the dining room as it was before we moved in...
 


 and how it looked this morning.  


It feels great to get that project checked off of the list!  How about you guys?  Any projects that have taken you a while to finally tackle?  Any of you painted your interior concrete?  We would love to hear your story!


We weren't perked or compensated for any of the products listed, we like to try various products that are best suited for our projects.
 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vivienne's Weekly Photo #21

This week Vivienne made a major milestone.  She is sitting up by herself!  She can correct herself if she starts leaning to far in one direction or the other.  There are still times when she will fall forward or backward when she gets tired or too excited by a passerby (mostly the cats or dog).  She is super interested in the animals now and has successfully petted Sophie the cat without harm to either Viv or Sophie.  Success!  She is very curious and is easily distracted, like when she is eating and hears a voice or noise in the room, for instance when she is nursing in the morning and a noisy cat walks into the nursery meowing loudly (again Sophie) then Viv has to turn completely around and sit up to see who it is and then laugh and squeal at her.  


This weeks outtakes are basically just Viv being her happy self.  


This one is especially cute because she is looking at her daddy.

 

Daddy's Day

I want to take a moment to say what a wonderful daddy Devin is to Vivienne.  This parenthood thing has been both a learning experience and a test of our ability to adapt, both of which we are embracing wholeheartedly, but Devin has amazed me with his love for Vivi.  It isn't hard to love her, but I enjoy seeing it in his eyes every day and in her squeals and smiles as she sees him.  It was great to spend Father's day showing daddy how much we love and appreciate him.  

Our Dad's Day was filled with love, laughter, gifts, good food and quality time together as a family of 3.  I snapped a few photos of our day with my phone so I apologize in advance for the quality of the images.  

Vivienne loving on daddy.


Vivienne reading.


 Super Dad...

 
Feeding ducks, fish, and turtles at our neighborhood pond and of course, blowing bubbles!


It was a lovely day and we look forward to many more Father's days to show our love for the big guy!  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vivienne's Weekly Photo #20

We've officially hit the 5 month mark!  Hurray for growing big and strong Viv! At this point in Vivienne's progress, she is sitting up almost completely independently.  She is doing much better with tummy time and is pushing up on her arms and can make a complete 180 on the floor.  She does get some forward motion when she has something at her feet to push against.  

She has been practicing warming up her vocal cords and has reached pretty high decibel levels at this point.  She thinks it is quite hilarious, we tend to panic thinking something is wrong, then we look at her and she is all smiles.  Opera may be in her future, it is too soon to tell. 

She seems to be comprehending the sign for milk and we are still working on the signs for "diaper change" and "all done".  I continue to push the word momma into her brain (and a few daddas) with the hopes that one of those precious words will spring from her cute little lips soon.  He first word will probably be Roxie or something like that.  Overall, she continues her usual awesomeness!  


This is what I hear her saying when I look at this week's outtakes:

"Wait, let me break it down with a little pop 'n lock dance move for you mom."

 
"Or if you prefer, I can do a little Irish jig while I sing O Danny Boy..."

 
"No?  Well you might like something more classic like Ballet on point!"


I love how the last picture is her stretching her legs out so far they extend past the fabric to my legs as I'm standing there taking the picture.  She is so funny and she makes us laugh daily, even when we are stressing about the A/C not working in our upstairs portion of our house! 
 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Vivienne's Weekly Photo #19

Week 19 and counting!  V has perfected her sleeping schedule to about 10 hours a night although sometimes she fights sleep and rubs her eyes like there is something wrong with them that they won't stay open.  Otherwise, she continues to be so very happy.  She is getting better at sitting up and can really focus on a task whether it be removing a puzzle piece from her big wooden puzzle to grabbing that pesky foot.  We continue to work on tummy time as she is not the biggest fan and are practicing rolling from tummy to back and back to tummy.  


She continues to be curious of her surroundings and knows fully well who is in the room and not.  This outtake is a great example of her watching her dad as he walked by.


She is also becoming very well versed in rolling her tongue as if she was ready to start speaking Spanish and making zerbert sounds with her lips.  The tongue action just makes me laugh so much!

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Top Ten Summer Must-Haves/Do's

As the weather continues to heat up here in Austin, I start thinking of ways to make our summer here great!  It is often difficult to think of anything other than the scorching temperatures and blood sucking mosquitoes, but I think there are some ways to make the outdoors more practical/useful during the hot months here.  I started a little top 10 list to share what I've been thinking will enhance our back yard and encourage the use of it a little more, until the ultimate dream patio can be accomplished.  Until then, we have to save our pennies and make smaller investments to achieve backyard bliss.  I'm kind of seeing this as a to-do list of sorts.   Feel free to click on the below images for more information.

1.  Create a Potting Shed
I love the idea of finding an old armoire or cabinet from the thrift store or yard sale to convert to a useable potting shed in the back yard.  You could also use it to store grilling tools (we need this desperately)! 


2.  Create Shade
The main thing that is absolutely necessary here in central Texas is SHADE.  I came across this image and thought it was a playful interpretation of the summer umbrella!  You could easily string up a few umbrellas to create a special shade spot in the back yard.  
  

3.  Create Fun
I feel that the above photo also falls into this category but I think a tee pee is super fun.  I can't wait to build one for Vivienne.  I love the idea of having one inside in the play room, but one outside could be awesome.  

  
4.  Create Cool
We saw these kits at Sam's club one weekend to cool down your outdoor space with mist.  The technique works pretty well here if it's coupled with a nice breeze. 


5.  Create Comfort
I love a good adirondack chair, and these come in a couple of different styles and a variety of fun colors.  They are great on a deck or just hanging out on the lawn which is what we have in place of the deck...for now. 


6.  Create Protection
I mentioned the blood sucking mosquitoes...well the term Texas-size is fitting for these pesky critters.  They are ginormous here and will eat you up.  You can purchase citronella oil to put in tiki torches and it works pretty well.  I like this idea of bracing the torches in tall flower cans and you can place them where ever you deem appropriate, in our case, covering the entire yard!



7.  Create Weatherproofing
I found some amazing oil cloth fabrics that are a far cry from the old school stuff used to make table cloths.  Fabric designers like Amy Butler has some beautiful examples.  I would love to make outdoor pillows to put on a few Adirondack chairs and not worry about them when the random rain storm hits.


8.  Create Flair
I have always loved stringed outdoor lights and the soft lighting it provides a space at night.  But this idea of adding embellishments to your everyday sting of lights is a great idea to make a festive occasion feel extra special. 


9.  Create Ambiance
We have an umbrella for our outdoor table in the backyard, but at night it basically defeats the purpose to have it up, unless you use it to hang lights from.  I like how you can throw a bunch of different lanterns up to create a casual look, or all the same for a more streamlined look.  You can also use citronella candles for added mosquito protection.

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10.  Create Entertainment
Our neighborhood along with other public parks in Austin offer movies in the park during the summer months.  I think it's a great idea and even better if it's right outside your back door.  It would surely make that Friday night Netflix that much cooler at our house. 


That's it for our little summer top ten...how about you?  Are there any fun things you are going to do to whip your outdoor space into shape for the summer?
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