And Just Like That He’s One…

 

That big ‘ol meany, Father Time came and switched out my tiny infant for a big one year old…so rude.

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I can’t believe an entire year has passed since my little Bo was born. I remember the day vividly and it honestly feels like yesterday. The last few months I’ve been noticing just how much he’s starting to look and act more like a little boy and less like a baby. Then this week he got sick (just yucky cold stuff) and he is so cuddly and clingy and just wants me to hold him and rock him, and I can’t help but soak every second of it in even though he feels so huge in my arms now.

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We celebrated last weekend and I’m so glad we did, because he was just starting to get sick then and wasn’t feeling as awful as he is right now. I am also super glad I thought to take his pics last week because he definitely wouldn’t feel up to it now. We went with a ‘manly’ outdoor theme. It felt fitting since he was a lumberjack for Halloween and he is just all boy in every way. His first words after ‘dada’ and ‘mama’ were ‘vroom-vroom’. He loves tractors and cars, working with his tools, and getting into everything. He is also a bottomless pit when it comes to food…the eating never ends.

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We kept things simple and just ordered pizza for the party. My mom made Bowen a little bear cake which was perfect for my baby bear. She also set out snacks like, teddy grahams, gummy worms and moose droppings (aka Twix). We had the party at Gigi’s (my grandma) house. Gigi is home recovering from knee surgery so we wanted to bring the party to her. It was very casual and relaxing with just family hanging out and chatting.

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After watching my mom make this bear cake with fur, I’m dying to see what other animal cakes we can make. Give me all the animal cakes!…just give me all the cake.

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My dad also helped out and made this adorable lumberjack photo board. It turned out so cute and was a lot of fun. I have also decided my brother Shaun, looks like the ultimate hipster lumberjack with his black rimmed glasses. bobirthday

While I’m sad my baby isn’t so babyish anymore, I am really amazed at how much he has grown and changed into my sweet little boy. He is walking and climbing and learning new things every day. It makes me so happy to see that look of determination on his face as he toddles around the room making a mess of everything in his path. Happy birthday my little Bozilla!

 

 

Bo’s Colorful Farmhouse Bedroom

I am finally sharing Bowen’s nursery! As you know, he has been sharing a room with his big sis since he was about three months old. Now he finally has a space to call his own. I’ve said before that I planned on the two of them sharing until Bo was ready for a big boy bed and keeping his room as a designated guest room, but when do kids ever do what you plan?! We decided it was the right time for him to have his own space to sleep and play and it has been working out nicely…during the day. The kid naps like a CHAMP in his crib. Nighttime is a whole other story. (He thinks he needs to sleep next to mom.)

Disclaimer: I apologize for the crazy variation of green in these pics. A photographer, I am not! The Kelly green looks so great in person, but trying to photograph it has been a nightmare. The three North, South, and East facing windows are also challenging to photograph around. I may end up painting this room after all!!

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I moved the trundle-bed that was in Hollis’ room in here. Obviously Bowen isn’t ready to use it, but it’s so nice to have for guests (the trundle pops up and turns into either two twin beds, or one king size bed). It has also been super handy for having a cozy place to nurse him, or read books, or even change his clothes and diapers. I really wanted a black and white buffalo check duvet, but found this gray and white one at Target for such a good price and decided to snag it! I love how classic and neutral it is, so we can use it for a long time even if we change things up.

Bo's Colorful Farmhouse Nursery // thegoldbrickroad.com

It was fun to plan a space with just him in mind and not having to take into account his sister or anyone else. I’m so used to designing ‘girly’ spaces for Hollis, so it was a lot of fun to make things more ‘boyish’ for Bo. I tried to avoid too much of a theme, and just used the already green walls as a starting off point. Brian has a good collection of tractors and farm toys from when he was little and they are just too cool not to use in the room.

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For the most part the kids play downstairs in their playroom, but since our house is two stories, it’s nice for them to each have a place upstairs to play and keep busy when I need to be upstairs cleaning or doing projects. The old school Shirt Tales toy box is also Brian’s from his childhood.

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I’m still tweaking a few things here and there. I am on the hunt for some wire baskets to hang on the wall for book storage. I’m also getting some ideas for how to layout his closet which needs a makeover asap. As you can see, there is not a lot of room for a dresser currently, so I’m trying incorporate one into his closet.

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So far little man seems pretty pleased with his new room. Now if we can just get him to sleep in it at night…

Mini Room Update: Hollis’ Room

I’m currently waiting (Impatiently) for some goodies for Bo’s nursery. So while I wait, I thought I’d do a little update on Hollis’ room which she now has all to herself again. She’s pretty psyched to have her room back and a somewhat safe place to hide her things that she doesn’t want little brother to slobber on…I get it kid. I do.

Not a whole lot has changed in her room, I didn’t paint or anything crazy like that. The biggest change for her was that we moved her twin size trundle-bed to Bowen’s room and moved the mammoth queen sleigh bed to her room. Her room is quite a bit larger than his, so it just made more sense for it to be in her room and it’s a really nice, comfy bed that we don’t want to part with yet. She loves it so far and she still has plenty of room to play with her dollhouse and other toys. Other than that, all I really did was take out Bo’s things and add in a few more girly things of Hollis’.

Here is how it looked while the kids shared…I have to admit, I miss it this way a little bit.

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And here it is now that it’s all Hollis’.

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You may recognize this display shelf from a previous post. We were using it as a simple dollhouse for Hollis when she was younger, but now that she is a bit older, I’ve decided to entrust her with my old dollhouse…(insert nervous face emoji here). So now we are using it to display all of her favorite little things. I hung it low enough for her to reach everything and high enough for little brother to NOT reach everything. 🙂

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Hollis is obsessed with this dollhouse, as was I. I still may be. It’s just so dang cute. Everything in it is from when I was a kid. So to say it’s old and fragile is an understatement.

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I tried to keep things pretty simple. I’m really glad I painted everything neutral the last time we updated the room. Her toys and accessories have so much color (PINK.) that I just really don’t miss color on the walls. Hopefully it will stay this way, and this clean, for a while!

 

 

Christmas 2016

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas! My toddler is super into the holidays this year and I have been taking a little time off from projects to spend as much time with my little munchkins as possible.  I always enjoy the holidays, but they are even more fun with little kids who believe in all the magic and stories you tell them!

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We visited the North Pole in Colorado back in July and while we were there we signed Hollis up to receive a letter from Santa. We didn’t do one for Bowen because he doesn’t really get it yet, but Hollis was so excited to get hers. I think I read it 40 times in the days leading up to Christmas.  It also helped with all of the threats I made to her that Santa wouldn’t bring her presents if she was naughty. She is so, so naughty these days (three-year olds, am I right?!),  I don’t know what I’m going to do the rest of the year when I can’t use Santa as leverage! We are definitely going to do Santa letters again next year (one for Bo too!) and as many years as they will let me.

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I have dreaded taking the kids to see Santa because of impending freak outs, and waiting in long lines with very small, impatient children. Hollis has never been up for it in the past anyways.  But when Brian’s uncle told us he was dressing up as Santa at the Fort Hays basketball game, we decided to brave it. I talked to Hollis about it for a couple of days prior, and she promised me that she would sit on his lap. When the time came, she was a little hesitant, but once she was on his lap, she was good to go. I think it really helped that Uncle Rich was our first Santa.  My little stoic man Bo just sat there and took everything in like a champ.

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We spread our Christmas across three days with four different celebrations. We got to spend time with lots of family and got spoiled with food and gifts. I usually spend lots of time stressing about what to get everyone and worrying about whether or not I got everyone equally awesome gifts. This year I took a different route and made some handmade gifts. It was a lot of fun creating things for people and doing my favorite thing, DIY/crafting. It’s not something I would do every year, but it was fun to do something a little different for a change. They were so much fun to make that I am hoping to make myself one, and when I do I will try to do a little tutorial on it.

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I still can’t believe that the holidays are already over, but I am looking forward to taking all the decorations down and putting things back in their normal place…like my coffee table I had to put the Christmas tree on this year to keep it away from my busy-body 10 month old! I have a long list of projects I want to get to this year and I can’t wait to get back in the groove and get started on them. Hope you all had a merry everything!

 

Toning Down The Crazy

It has been a while since I’ve talked about the kid’s playroom. I thought I would give a little update on the little changes I’ve made. Now that Bowen is six (almost 7 months) old and can sit up and move around a little bit, he is really getting into toys. He is no longer content with sitting in one spot, he is ready to move around and explore…and get into as many of sisters toys as possible.

Up until now, Hollis has had the whole playroom to herself. It’s filled to the brim with baby dolls, princesses, and dress up clothes and accessories. I have been slowly moving some of her things out and finding a home for them in her bedroom or the toy closet, which she agreed to pretty quickly after I explained that they will be safe from little brother and his slobber. I’ve been replacing those things with some more toys that Bo might be interested in.

The last time you saw it, it looked like this.

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I tried out this scalloped, two-tone wall to add a little playfulness to the room. I liked it at first, but it started to feel a little too crazy after a while as well as the colorful curtains. So I decided to tone it back a bit. I did still really like the two-tone neutral walls so I kept those, but chose to ditch the scallop. I also switched out the curtains for a more neutral option.

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I added our old futon back into the space, because let’s face it, Mama needs a place to sit and supervise in the playroom. It’s also great for napping toddlers and movie watching.

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I tried to add some little nooks in the corners of the room. One nook is Hollis’s “house”. She loves to hideaway in the nooks and read books or play with toys and it’s nice that the kids can separate and escape each other when needed while still playing in the same space.

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That nice straight line makes me so happy. It feels calmer in here even at the most chaotic of times. There is so much color in the room from the toys and furniture, the walls really needed to be calmed down bit. I’m so grateful we have this room, I don’t know what we’d do without it!

 

 

Road Trip Through Colorado (Pt. 2)

After spending a weekend in Colorado Springs for a family reunion, we headed to Black Canyon of the Gunnison. On the way we stopped and stretched our legs and had a mini picnic lunch with a beautiful view….and of course Hollis found some dirt to play in so she was stoked.

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So many beautiful places to pull over and stretch your legs and take pics. I can’t wait to hike some of these places when the kids are a little bigger.

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The next morning we woke up nice and early to drive the Million Dollar Highway. I’m so glad we went early because there was very little traffic which made the super steep drop-offs and winding road, slightly less terrifying. I’m glad I wasn’t driving because there was so much beautiful scenery to look at. I kept pointing things out to Brian while he was driving…luckily he ignored me and kept his eyes on the road. Fortunately there are many places to pull off and whip your camera out.

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File_000(2)The cutest town, Ouray is tucked away in the mountains. We drove through it because the kiddos were asleep, but we would have loved to get out and explore it. It looked like a fun town to stay in, so hopefully next time we can do that.

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Not a bad view to take in while nursing this little guy.

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We drove through Durango and then to Farmington, NM where we got a glimpse of Shiprock before heading to Four Corners.

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We got just close enough to Shiprock to take a few pics.

We were looking forward to the Four Corners Monument, but it was a little disappointing. It was super hot and there was zero shade to escape the afternoon sun. The only thing to do there is stand in line and have your picture taken on the monument. The people in line were friendly and took turns taking the pic of the people in line in front of them so it went fairly quickly. There are also little vendors selling souvenirs. The prices were reasonable, but each vendor pretty much sold the same things. We let Hollis pick out a necklace and bracelet and we picked out a bear carved out of stone for Bo. The biggest disappointment was that there was NO FOOD/DRINKS. There was one food truck there, but it was not open at 1:30pm while we were there.

File_002We kept moving towards Mesa Verde National Park. We had another impromptu picnic there and checked out the Cliff Palaces.  We would love to do the tour some day, but the kids were just too small to do it this time. There was more white-nuckle driving as we drove higher up and then down the mountain. We left just in time before it started to storm.

File_003IMG_1176 File_005At this point, the kids were getting really used to hotel life. We found that after a long day of driving we all did better with picking up dinner somewhere and eating it in our hotel room. The kids were able to wind down before bedtime and pretty much stay on their usual schedule. So while our night life was pretty low-key and boring, it definitely made for calmer, happier kids the next day.

IMG_1185File_008On our way back home, we stumbled upon my new favorite spot. We had spent most of the day driving already with no real opportunities to get out of the car and recharge. So when Bowen woke up hungry and Hollis started to get restless, we decided we better find somewhere to stop asap. Of course when you really need to stop, there is nowhere to stop. After searching for a place to pull off and feed the baby, with no real options, we decided to get off the highway and trek down a dirt road and see where it took us.

We ended up at a campground tucked away deep in the trees. Seriously, if you wanted to commit a crime and hideout somewhere, this is the place to disappear. We continued down this narrow dirt road, passed people horseback riding, and passed what we thought was a little stream to our right. We thought it would be a great spot for Hollis to get out and do her thing aka dig in the dirt. When we actually got closer to the spot, it opened up to this beautiful fishing spot.

IMG_1201These pictures really don’t show how secluded this little gem was. The whole spot was hiding behind a wall of trees. I was so happy to relax on a blanket and feed the baby while Hollis got to collect rocks in the water with dad.

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We had the place all to ourselves for a while. A friendly older couple showed up to fish and said this is their favorite fishing spot because it is so hidden and quiet. They were really sweet and let Hollis watch them catch a fish (which only took them less than five minutes to catch). We didn’t stay long after that because we didn’t want our little hooligans to scare away any fish for the nice couple.

The rest of our trip home was pretty uneventful. Just lots of driving. Lots and lots of driving. We broke up the driving with one more stay at a hotel so that we only had about 3 hours on our last leg home. Part of me really wanted to just keep driving and not stop, and if it was just Brian and I, that’s probably what we would have done. I’m glad we stopped and rested. The kids definitely appreciated it and it made life a lot easier when we did get home and transitioned back into our normal routine. I needed that rest just to unload everything out of the car and catch up the laundry!

I’m so glad we survived (and enjoyed) our first vacation as a family of four. Colorado was so beautiful and had so much to offer. I can’t wait to go back again!

 

 

 

 

 

Road Trip Through Colorado (pt. 1)

When you farm, taking vacations can be a little tricky. There is a small window to work with after wheat harvest and we do our best to take advantage of it. Brian’s family had a family reunion in Colorado Springs planned on a weekend in July and we decided to plan our little family vacation around it.

We headed to Colorado Springs on a Thursday. It’s about a six hour drive for us and we took our time getting there. We stopped whenever we felt like it and even took a long break to have dinner in Pueblo with a former colleague of Brian’s. We arrived at our hotel right a little after the kids usual bedtime…and you could tell they were done and ready for bed.

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Our road trip snack of choice was this yellow watermelon we picked up at  a farmer’s market.

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After getting to the hotel and turning the bathroom into a bottle washing station, I was so very ready for a ‘mom drink’.

Friday morning we woke up early for breakfast and to meet up with Brian’s family before heading to the North Pole  with everyone. I had never been before, but when I realized it was a retro Christmas theme park tucked away in the mountains, I was 100% on board! We thought Hollis, who is 2, would love all of the kitchy little kid rides, but she rode a whopping 1 and 1/2 (she skipped out early on one) rides. She loved driving the cars and hanging out with her cousins. Next time we go, I have no doubt she will love the rides and seeing Santa.

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After about four hours there, our kiddos were starting to meltdown and were ready for naptime. So Brian and I decided to drive through Garden of the Gods while they got a good nap in the car. We were a little bummed we couldn’t get out and explore because they were sleeping, but it started raining anyway so it worked out really well to just drive through it. When we reached the end, we snagged a great parking spot and were able to take turns getting out and taking pics. The next time we go I really want to get out and do some of the trails.

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We finished the day at the arcade and having dinner outdoors with the whole family. Saturday morning we woke up and headed to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We thought by getting there early, we could beat some of the crowd. Apparently everyone else there thought the same thing. Even with the crowds, we were able to see everything we wanted to. The giraffes were by far our favorite exhibit. You can get right up to them and feed them and pet them. Giraffes are Hollis’ favorite animal so she was especially excited to get up close and see them.

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Zoo ‘tude.

 

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She was a little surprised at just how close the giraffes would get.

 

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After the zoo we were wiped out and headed back to the hotel to rest up before we met up with Brian’s family for BBQ and Bunco. I was a Bunco newbie, but I have to say I loved it and got really into it. I could have played it all night if I didn’t have little babes to put to bed. This was our last night with family and everyone woke up early and parted ways the next morning. Instead of heading home, we headed toward Black Canyon Nation Park…..but I will finish that up on another post!