Monday, May 22, 2017

Before and After: Side Porch

This project is pretty self explanatory! We have a heavily used side entrance to our house (where both the mudroom and kitchen exterior doors are) and the deck, was red and also the wood was not in the best shape. The top step board wiggled when you stepped on it and a lot of the other planks were cracked with chipping paint. Not the best look.

So we checked the calendar for a good rebuild date that worked for my dad. If you'll recall he helped completely replace the deck at our old house, and this project was really peanuts compared to that. "We can do it in a day," they said.

And in a day they did! Approximately 9 am until 5 pm yesterday our driveway looked like this:

The boys' tools are scattered in there too. Obviously.

I was a little nervous about the color Trex we had picked because I didn't have time to special order anything from Home Depot or Lowe's - I had to pick what was in stock which was not a lot. Ultimately I am so happy with it though! My before and afters are a tad off, I'm out of practice, but here are the winning shots!

After (not mopped or wiped yet):





Before, looking out from the kitchen:


Now I need a new mat! 

The in-between...


This morning the deck was already in use.

Pretty often when I go get my hair highlighted, when I look in the mirror afterwards, I'm like WHOA! I had no idea how old and bad-looking I'd become until I saw myself fresh and new! This porch was kind of like that. And of course now I want to replace our entire back deck with the same stuff (which is Trex in the Clamshell color) because it too is suffering.

Anyway, a huge thank you to Jason and to Poppy and Mema for coming to visit so this could happen! I love my new porch and did practically nothing to contribute to how awesome it came out. My favorite kind of project! :D

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

Another Mother's Day has come and gone - my 6th one in fact. Honestly I don't have much to say about it this year. It rained all day- seriously over 12 hours straight. Jason worked. GG was down for a visit so in the morning we went to Target with the boys and then a fabric store. She left after lunch and then Ashton, Alex and myself did nothing special. I took care of the laundry, made dinner, and said no to "Ninjago" on Netflix approximately 12,000 times. Frankly it really wasn't a great day at all. We were a little stir crazy, the boys were not at their best and neither was I. I'm just going to leave it at that.

I have one picture but we all look so bad that I'm not going to even post it. We had just woken up and the boys were making faces.

Ashton made me a necklace out of clay beads:

Here is the video of him giving it to me, with his trademark "I'm so excited" hopping that might be my favorite thing about him. If you watch it ignore my hair. And the very whiny Alex. It's all he does lately. 

Spring has finally hit - it is sunny and HOT! Last summer you heard me talk a lot about Wayland Town Beach. This summer we joined Longfellow, the sports club up the street, mainly for the pool, and the boys have already been going this week (our membership started this past Monday). Alex has 2 weeks left of school, Ashton has 4, and then we are off and running with swim lessons, camps, summer vacations, oh and Ashton starts his boys-only hip hop dance class next week ;)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Friday Night in Naples

If you remember my last post, it was about two giant cardboard boxes in our living room that became a fort. I named it Naples. I predicted my Friday night would be especially easy with Naples around and she did not disappoint. Disaster nearly struck when I could not find any mini flashlights for the boys to take in there. Usually there are at least 20 of them in the junk drawer, but of course, Friday night, there were none. And our big flashlight takes a D battery, I mean who has D batteries on hand. Not me. So we went foraging into Jason's work bench and ta-dah! Headlamps!

They went to work right away coloring the inside.

Look at the random creepy face Ashton drew.

Like what is that? He told me it was a cave monster.

Then they covered the roof with "hot lava" (?):

But you know what, as long as they are entertaining themselves, bring on the molten hot rock (imaginary only).

Saturday and Sunday we went to Long Island for a quick overnight to celebrate Owen's 5th birthday. The boys did this the entire time, much to Grandpa's dismay ;)

Those are their remote control Raptor trucks on the pool cover. They whizzed around for hours.

Anyway it was my first solo trip, and my first time just staying one night, but we had a great time! And I got one of my most favorite pictures yet of the three cousins:

Ironically the last one I took out of about 500. Happy birthday Owen!! We loved your party and really loved the goodie bags ;)

Stay tuned for Kindergarten orientation this Friday!

Friday, May 5, 2017


I'd like to begin this post with an observation. My blogging has obviously fallen way off, and it's because the urgent need to document everything is fading fast. In the beginning of the boys' little lives, it all happened so quickly. Ashton was born and all the big things, like first steps and his first birthday and first words, well they came at a rapid pace and as such, blog posts came pouring out of me. Just as that was slowing down, we moved, and our Watertown house kept us busy until shortly after, when I got pregnant with Alex. There was that whole round of excitement, another set of blink-and-you'll-miss-them milestones plus lots of fun house projects, and then we moved again. Looking back, I was still a well-oiled blogging machine until about 6 months ago. Lately I just haven't had any dramatic before-and-afters, we aren't moving, and there are no more babies coming. We've settled in to life, you know? And part of me is sick of doing the same post every year. For example, we just had Ashton's annual allergy appointment, which I should write up because of all things, it's great for me to have to refer to, but I can't muster it somehow. And I do have a post on our guest room I suppose I could document, but the days go by and I don't take the pictures. I've had the blogging blahs.

In an effort to overcome this, I am going to write about our new patio furniture that came yesterday afternoon. I wouldn't otherwise turn this in to a post, but in order to avoid this blog turning into a wasteland, something needs to be done so, giant cardboard boxes it is. 

First off, the set we bought. I spent more time than I care to admit finding the perfect loveseat and chairs for our back deck and when I saw this it was instant love. So it was delivered yesterday and the two huge boxes sat at the top of our driveway waiting for Jason to get home. They were REALLY huge.

The boys of course got their saws out and insisted on "helping" which really just meant they circled around Jason's legs and got in his way. 

Overall, I *loved* the furniture but the whole thing was a bit of a letdown. With tons of rain in the forecast, we didn't move the pieces around to arrange them or put the cushions down or anything. So it's all just sitting outside at the moment, in no particular order. 

Until the rain goes away, which will be never. Here is the forecast currently:

If you need me I'll be withering away from a Vitamin D deficiency. But I digress. 

So the two people in our family who got the most satisfaction out of this delivery were, you guessed it, not me and Jason. 

Jason quickly built a double-wide, complete with a door and a couple of windows. I bet if he was being truthful he would tell you he was a little excited to go in it

As for me, I'm naming this estate Naples after the patio set. Due to the aforementioned weather, Naples, being the prime piece of property that she is, was moved inside to stay dry and is now resting comfortably in my living room.

The boys were out of their minds this morning. Soooo excited. See the sign on the front?

Ashton hung it. I'm told it says "THIS WAY TO THE PARTY." I don't speak sticker so I'll take his word for it. 

Well it's Friday afternoon and the boys and I are headed to New York tomorrow morning to celebrate Owen's 5th birthday. Jason's going to dismantle Naples while we're gone. In the meantime, I'm preparing for them stockpile every toy they own inside, set up flashlights, want to eat dinner in there and maybe even sleep in it. The heck with the patio furniture, Naples is going to be make my night VERY easy ;) 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter 2017

I will say, Sunday April 16 was probably one of the most beautiful days imaginable. Warm in the sun, a slight was outside-all-day weather and that's where the boys and I spent it. I've kind of had the blogging blahs, so I made a special effort to document our day so I'd have lots of good photos for my Easter post. We flew kites, dug in the sandbox, swung at the playground, went for a bike ride, a walk, another bike ride, another walk, and both lunch AND dinner were on the back deck. By the end of the day, the boys had no shirts on and ice cream dribbling down their faces, a most welcome sign that summer is on its way! I got some really cute pictures of my two little bunnies having a great time.

So then, on Monday morning, Alex came into my room and made off with my phone. Both he and Ashton love to sneak in while we are sleeping and steal it to play an app or something. Well somehow, he reset it and the last iCloud backup I had was Saturday night. As I restored my phone, I realized this would mean that every picture I took on Sunday was gone, vaporized into the abyss.

Luckily, Jason had snapped a couple in the morning during the egg hunt and basket-opening before he left for work, but it's a far cry from what I planned to post. Oh well :-/


I'll admit, by the end of the day we were a taaaaaad bored. So I packed them up and we went to Walmart because I knew they were open, and the water guns that had been in their Easter baskets had broken instantly (I suspect the Easter Bunny shops at the dollar store). So Ashton and Alex each picked out a new magnum super mega-soaker something or other and we came home and had a good water fight (with warm water from the sink - hey, the sun had gone down!).

So we pretty much did nothing except hang out. There was no brunch, no bowties, no church. But I was so grateful for the beautiful weather that even though the clock moved verrrrrrrry slowwwwwwwwwly, the day was really relaxed and the boys could not have been (seriously, COULD NOT have been) more excited to open all the eggs they had found. With his mouth full of jelly beans, Ashton said repeatedly, "This is the best Easter EVER!" and then added "but not better than Halloween. There's even more candy at Halloween" and then both boys started chattering about what their costumes would be. On to the next, I guess ;)