Sunday, May 16, 2010

Before & after: Our living space

When Erik and I unpacked our boxes just over a year and a half ago, we were eager to embark on our first home improvement venture. Our home’s open floor plan suited us well, so there was no need to move walls or do any other major construction. But we did replace flooring, fixtures, hardware, and appliances. We painted walls and cabinets and did a few repairs. We shuffled furniture within our house and added a few decorative items. A heartfelt thanks goes to our families who generously spent countless hours of their Albuquerque ‘vacations’ helping us with projects. Hopefully you can tell which photo is before and which is after in the pairs below!

ourNewHome 006 Home Projects 2010 130 HDR


ourNewHome 003  Home Projects HDR2


ourNewHome 002  Home Projects 2010 135psp


ourNewHome 005 Home Projects 2010 156 PSP

And here’s a pic from our initial house-hunting trip, and another after shot:

hh 022 Home Projects 2010 163 PSP 

Now we’ve reached a bit of a stopping point since these main areas are mostly in order. However, as Erik has slowly learned, my remodeling visions are never completely realized, and so a few more changes to the entryway, our bedroom, and the guest room are on the horizon. We’ll keep you posted!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Molar menace

Luke 5-2010 046 blog The little guy has continued to teethe and now has all four molars either fully or partially in place. Each night before we put him into bed, we brush his teeth with the little blue toothbrush we were given at the dentist’s office. Luke enjoys this ritual, and when we say it’s time to brush teeth he immediately sticks his finger in his mouth and says ‘rush, rush’ just to make sure we remember the technique. His toothbrush has short, rubbery bristles and you put it on your finger like a finger puppet, giving better control than you’d get with a traditional child’s toothbrush.

But we now realize that this toothbrush is missing a critical upgrade – a steel-reinforced inner shell! It feels so good on our little guy’s sore gums that he’s eager to clamp down for some teething relief. So we approach him warily, cringingly sticking our finger in his mouth, fearing the chomp! Then we end up laughing at our own fear of such a smiley babe, which only encourages the biting and prevents us from discouraging it. I knew parenting would be hard, but sometimes the self-control needed to resist an inopportune giggle seems like it must be superhuman.

Two more occasions of inadequate sternness arose this morning. I was talking with Erik over breakfast when I glanced over and spied Luke dropping a Cheerio onto the floor. He knows that dropping food over the side of his high chair is not allowed, so he launched his tricks at me, clapping his hands and dancing with his head most enthusiastically! A few hours later, he started pulling things out of the one off-limits but not-yet-child-proofed drawer in the kitchen. This time when I walked up to him he used my own tactics against me – shaking his pointer finger at me with a serious face. Clearly I need to tap into some secret sternness source before I forfeit all my parental credibility!

Luke 4-2010 186 blog What other secret weapons does this little boy have up his sleeve?

Kindred spirit

Luke 5-2010 001 blog Yesterday on the Sandia tram we met a kindred spirit. The glint in this almost-two-year-old boy’s eyes held the same happy, wild, crazy energy that shines so often from Luke’s big brown peepers. Like our Luke, all that exuberance was tempered by a spontaneous sweetness evidenced by a couple sudden retreats to his mom’s arms for a hug. It was fun to meet a slightly older version of our little Luke. Too bad they didn’t seem to be from Albuquerque!

While his crazy energy bursts bring me lots of laughs, I also love the sweet Mommy-love that tempers Luke’s wild man streak. Often he’ll be in the midst of playing and just clearly be seized with an overwhelming urge to run up to me and give me a hug or his new version of  a kiss – a head bump. So he’ll dash over to me and hold his arms up urgently, requesting a quick squeeze before being released back on the floor for more play. And a week or two ago he even repeated “love you” when he was in an especially sweet mood during his bedtime routine. What a heart-melter!

Luke 4-2010 183 blog