Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Front Porch Flowers

Despite all of the rain we've been having, I was able to find a few dry moments to get our front porch pots planted.

You might remember a past post about the three key elements to an eye-catching arrangement.

Here is this year's forumula:

Thriller: Purple Fountain Grass

Filler: Coleus, several colors and varieties

Spiller: Sweet Potato Vine

I love the bold, contrasting colors, especially with the modern lines of the planter. I tend to choose plants with showy foliage, because I don't want to depend on constant blooming for a display of color.

I broke a few of my own rules this year. None of these plants are perennials - they'll all get composted at the end of the season, not transplanted to a new happy, permanent home in the backyard.

I was able to keep the expense minimal because the single Purple Fountain Grass in each planter (6 total) were the only 4" pots I bought. The rest are much smaller plants that came in 4-packs - more plants for less money! In past years, I've been too late to the nursery to score good colors in the smaller sizes. Smaller plants, yes, but watching them grow and taking the credit for it is a lot more fun than the instant gratification of bigger plants!

I was going to skip the other flower boxes for the time being, figuring our impending porch project would either destroy them, or leave them neglected. But the porch project has been put on hold for a little while, and I decided a little color would help us enjoy the porch as it is for now. Plus, I can hope that the flowers attract one's attention away from the peeling paint and warped floorboards... right?

The formula is the same, but with a few other colors of coleus. I especially like the deep red.

Two hanging ferns make it feel cozy.

And during naptime, we made another quick addition to the porch...

Still left to do out here:
powerwash the floor - take off as much paint as possible - before August does and eats it instead
new cushion covers - get rid of the faded ones
an area rug
two more ferns in tall planters

Thursday, April 21, 2011

To-Do List Check-In

I haven't checked in for a while, but when I pulled up the blog this morning and re-read our To-Do list, I felt really good.

Babyproof - August is thisclose to crawling and is testing his pulling up abilities

Secured bookshelves to the wall in his room, moved around some toys and books, lowered his crib mattress, and drank the wine on the lower family room shelf! We're keeping a close eye on things and making changes where necessary as we go.

Change over the bed linens for spring and summer

Check! I love putting small task on a To-Do list, just so I can feel accomplished as I knock them off the list!

Wash the windows - HATE this job!

Haven't started, but I bought a pressurized sprayer that I'm hoping will make the job easier, and ::gasp:: more fun?!

Patio maintenance - sunken pavers need repaired

This is big... and it's done! (Writing "done" makes me think of my swim coach, who always said, "Cakes and cookies are done, people are always finished." It took me YEARS (mind you I was little when I first heard that phrase) to figure out what the heck he meant!

Spread all that mulch!


Touch up the patio furniture with another coat of stain

This weekend... please no rain!

Maybe sew some new outdoor furniture covers?

Time consuming!

Maybe do new porch flooring and ceiling?


Go hiking at a Metro Park or State Park

Two parks in two weekends - Darby and Blacklick!

Get the bikes tuned up


Looking back at before and after pictures is always a great reminder of how far we've come, even when there seems like there is so much left to do...

Our Patio...



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bright Whites

Any guesses to what these are?

IKEA would have you believe they're oil and vinegar cruets. Yup, I have oil and vinegar cruets on my bathroom shelf - right next to the neti pot that looks like a creamer, and a sugar bowl that holds the neti pot salt.

Our oil and vinegar set holds his-and-her mouthwash. Whitening mouthwash on the left for the Handy Hunk, Act on the right for me. You can chalk this up to one of those small purchases that makes me endlessly happy! See, with open shelves in the bathroom, we keep only the bare essentials, and they have to look pretty. And, well, the giant mouthwash bottles of bright blue and green weren't so pretty. I much prefer the cohesive bright white and sleek accessories next to warm wood tones.

So after a couple of months of searching, I stumbled upon these in the most unlikely of places. Except was it really all that unlikely? I mean, IKEA never lets you down - they have a solution for everything - it's just that sometimes you have to think outside the box a little. Never fails, I go there with a list, a very specific list... and I come home with some of the things that were on the list, a bunch of things that weren't on the list, and a longer list!

Speaking of bright whites... look who has sprouted a couple of his own. The top ones are starting to come in... poor, poor guy is so ouchy!

And did you know that good dental health and oral hygeine are important heart disease prevention measures? Regular brushing and flossing and regular trips to the dentist reduce the amount of inflammatory bacteria in the mouth, which can enter the bloodstream, cause arterial plaques and swelling, and lead to the blockages that cause heart attacks and strokes.

Now if you'll excuse me... I'm off to make a dentist appointment!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Time Flies... An Update

So other than a quick post a couple of weeks ago, I've been MIA... well, in the blog world, at least! I wrote about our bathroom renovation on July 17, 2010 - that was eight months ago, and the day our baby was due to be born.

He decided to wait five days longer...

August Dylan Johnson was born at home on July 22, 2010 at 2:56pm. He was 10 lbs and 21 inches. Labor and birth was fast, and dare I say, painless! Under the amazing care of our CHOICE midwives, Abby and Jill, we couldn't have had a more perfect and beautiful experience!

Eight months later, August is a happy, smiley baby, full of personality. It's been so fun to watch him grow and change. Everyone says it... blah, blah, blah... but's it's true... they grow up so fast!

In the last eight months, we've changed a lot of these...

Our favorites are FuzziBunz One Size, but we also have some BumGenius 3.0, and we started with organic cotton prefolds and Thirsties covers when he was little.

We've done a lot of this...

And we worked HARD for it too - three different lacation consultants, four appointments with the last one, several hundred dollars, many many tears, a push to supplement with formula from the pediatrition, and dozens of obsessive (on my part) weight checks. Alison Hazelbaker helped relieve some minor torticollis and improve his suck with CranioSacral Therapy. I had never heard of such a thing, but I was so stubborn and determined to make breastfeeding work that I was willing to try anything - quitting wasn't an option. We are so grateful for finding Alison - not only did she help us through the physical aspects of breastfeeding, but she validated my instincts as a mother at a time when I could not have been full of so much doubt in myself. I'm proud that August has been 100% breastfed, nursing and taking bottles of pumped milk - not only because I know it's what is best, but also because the nursing relationship is priceless, and it represents perseverance and success and the great lengths that parents go to for their child.

I went back to work, training my loyal clients, about six weeks after August was born. We're so fortunate to have a fabulous work/baby balance, accomodating bosses, and family willing to help out. I go to work early, Ben brings August to Move Your Mind where he hangs in the playroom until I'm done working late morning. Three days a week, Grandma and August get to hang out while I go to F.A.N. Club for Nationwide Children's Hospital.

We took a vacation...

August visited his first National Park, The Great Smoky Mountains, at 2.5 months old.

The holidays came, and quickly went...

August was spoiled rotten - and it wasn't by his parents!

We took swim lessons...

Because this swimmin' mama would love to have a little Speedo-clad fish on a swim team someday! (And it gave us a reason to get out of the house on cold winter Sundays!)

I organized the basement...

Because we had to make room for more boxes - boxes like these...

I've done a lot of cooking...

Much of it for a certain someone. Sweet potatoes are definitely his favorite!

We're eager for spring around here. This weekend, Ben got some maintenance done on the patio, we cleared a few flower beds, the mulch got delivered, and we took the Radio Flyer for its first spin. Now if only it would warm up just a little!

We have many more projects ahead. Yesterday we made list:

- babyproof - August is thisclose to crawling and is testing his pulling up abilities

- change over the bed linens for spring and summer

- wash the windows - HATE this job!

- patio maintenance - sunken pavers need repaired

- spread all that mulch!

- touch up the patio furniture with another coat of stain

- maybe sew some new outdoor furniture covers?

- maybe do new porch flooring and ceiling?

- go hiking at a Metro Park or State Park

- get the bikes tuned up

Ah, so much to do, so much to do! We'll get there - it just won't be as fast as our projects happened pre-Gus!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Those thighs - I could eat them up!

7-Month Stats: 22 pounds 29.5 inches

Yes, this might mean a return to blogging... no promises! If someone could send along a few extra hours in a day, that'd be great...