Family

The Dating-Like Ritual of Finding #MomFriends

Finding #MomFriends is so hard! My sister has to be my #MomFriend because we’re related and our mother would yell at her if she wasn’t.

But finding your tribe of Momma friends isn’t easy. I kinda think it’s like dating and we’re all on a Tinder playground swiping left and right as our kids play.

Henry is almost two and a half. He wants to play with other kids, and I want him to play with other kids so I can take a break from making truck noises with my mouth.

Here’s how you find new #MomFriends. You scope out the playground to see what mom parents like you do.

Is the mom involved? Or too involved? Or is she sitting on the park bench pretending she doesn’t see her kid acting like a total a-hole and not doing anything about it?

Once you find a mom, you exchange names and, if you’re anything like me, you immediately forget her name and only remember her kid’s name.

You then go through THE LIST. The list includes things like…how old is your kid, is he a good sleeper, a good eater, etc…

I then share things to see if this mom is my kind of lady.

Things like…my Henry has a steady diet of frozen Trader Joe’s meatballs. There’s a certain subset of women who won’t be your #MomFriend if you’re child doesn’t eat all organic.

Then I’ll share that we did the cry-it-out method to get Henry to sleep. Certain moms think that cry-it-out is akin to abuse and that the child is forever scarred by it. Henry doesn’t remember it and he sleeps LIKE A CHAMP.

At this point in the over-sharing, I usually know if this mom and I have the same vibe.

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The Grand House, The Row House

We Have This Thing For Exposed Brick

Maybe Mark was a mason in his former life because he (and I!) LOOOOVE exposed brick.

It’s was a main feature in our first home renovation.

The small rowhouse we gutted and totally redid had fireplaces EVERYWHERE!

Our second renovation will feature exposed brick but not as prominently, because we’re going for a different style with this house.

As Mark exposes the brick, some of it is in decent shape and some of it is not.

The brick in the kitchen had to be cleaned and repointed.

In our first house, we used a light coating of muriatic acid on the brick to get the plaster completely off.

We used a sprayer and then a coarse brush to get all the pieces off.

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We haven’t had to use acid in the second renovation.

We’re hoping the exposed brick in this house will add a modern twist to an otherwise classic Victorian house!

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The Grand House

Ummmm…where have you been?!

I am asking myself this question and answering it…we have been busy!

Blogging has taken a back seat to REAL LIFE these last few months, but I have sooo many exciting things to share on the house front so let’s JUMP RIGHT IN.

Mark has all the interior walls, doorways and closets built.

Most of the ceilings are done as well including the HVAC systems and all the plumbing. YAY!

The kitchen, and all the other rooms, are ready for our spray foam crew that’s coming in at the end of March.

Here’s what we’re thinking for the kitchen…I got these photos from Pinterest.

I want a bright kitchen and Mark and I are both partial to gray. We also like the reclaimed wood floor and the white subway tiles as a backsplash.

I also love this kitchen inspiration from Pinterest…

I think we could get away with a darker cabinet because we have big windows and a French door that will let in lots of light and keep the space bright!

Would love to hear your thoughts and what you look for in a kitchen!!

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Family

The First Year You SURVIVE, The Second You THRIVE!

Oh, what a difference a year makes!

Our sweet boy, Henry, just turned 2 and it was a SWEET birthday indeed.

No longer are we the sleep-deprived parents who feel like a shell of their former selves.

No longer am I a nursing Momma with a baby attached at the boob.

No longer is Henry a 2-a-day napper, but just a good, solid napper from 1 to 3 pm.

On his first birthday, I felt like we survived Henry’s first year still in tact…meaning Mark and I were still married and our son was still alive.

This year, on his second birthday, I felt like we truly enjoyed the sweet, funny and gregarious boy that he is!

We celebrated with his buddies who also turned 2 and their parents echoed what we felt. We finally feel like our heads are above water…enough that MAYBE we could have another?!?! 😊

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The Grand House

Our City Backyard

We love living in the city.  We love the noise and the traffic and the walkability of our cool little neighborhood.

Henry is a total city kid…he runs up and down the sidewalks like he owns them, waves to all the bus drivers and loves the banana bread at our local coffee shop.

Backyard space is hard to come by in Lawrenceville. At our #RealLifeReno, Mark really wanted to make our small yard a nature oasis in the city.

He planted a tall Bloodgood London Planetree in the far back of our lot.  We call it “Henry’s Tree” and planted it shortly after he was born.

We’ve got 3 smaller trees that are called Hornbeam plus some sidewalks trees that we got from Tree Pittsburgh.  They really add shade, beauty and charm to the normal concrete-jungle that is city living.

Mark decided on Arborvitae Nigra for our “natural fence” that borders our neighbor’s yard and planted Yew hedge as filler for the rest of our backyard space.

The backyard is right off the French doors that lead into the kitchen.

We wanted to create a place where Henry can dig in the dirt and push his trucks around while I’m in the kitchen cooking…(really I’ll be drinking coffee and heating up food in the microwave.)

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The Grand House

How Did He Do That?!

One of our favorite things about our #RealLifeReno is that we’re honoring the history of this grand old house!

When we were looking to buy it, one of the first things we noticed was a beautiful curved wall right at the entrance of the house that leads into the first living room.

That curve makes us think that this house was a funeral home or doctor’s office at one time. Perhaps the curved wall separated a waiting area from the rest of the house.

We absolutely LOVED that curved feature and knew that we would rebuild it after we demoed the entire inside of the house.

Mark tackled that project last week. He first drew the curve in his CAD computer program to make sure all the measurements were correct.

Then he used a jig saw and cut the curve from plywood because there’s no way to get that curve from a stiff 2×4.

Just wait til it’s drywalled and painted…it’ll be a real beauty!

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The Grand House

I’ve seen this STUD before!

When we first started renovating homes, there was just one STUD in my life…

Now, there are two STUDS…one is potty trained, one is not! 😉

During our first home renovation, I remember feeling SO EXCITED by stud walls. (I never thought I would type that sentence.)

But stud walls mean the demolition is done and the house is starting to take shape. This pic is from our first reno…it shows the upstairs hallway with the bathroom and laundry room.

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When the stud walls go up, you can start to see how big the rooms will be, where the hallways are, and how the doorways and closets look.

Mark has been working hard this week on framing in the doorways and closets on our third floor.

This space before was just a semi-big, awkward room with no purpose. We expanded the dormers so that we could have two decent-sized bedrooms and a full bath on this floor.

It can also be just one bedroom and an office or storage space as well. Lord knows I will NOT being have 5 kids to fill these bedrooms. HA!

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