New Home Tour: Den/Playroom

02/28/2013

Depending on the angle of the photo, it looks like a den…

IMG_1309  IMG_1312 IMG_1313

But 98% of the time it’s a playroom. (Technically, it’s a guest room, too, though it hasn’t been used as such yet. Someday it’ll be a bedroom.)

IMG_1311

IMG_1320

The closet is full of books, toys and games.

IMG_1315

IMG_1322

IMG_1324

A few things to note about this room:

The sofa is vintage. We’d like to reupholster it someday but it’s not in bad shape and the pull out mattress is in excellent shape.

The rug is from Urban Outfitters. I purchased it for a staging project right before we moved in. We had it in the living room for a little while but it was way too small in there. It’s perfect in here.

This room is the smallest bedroom in the house but the super high ceilings make if feel big and the high windows and concrete wall make it very unique. I’m hoping a teenager will love it as a bedroom someday.

The play stove is second-hand, hand made but someone. I got it at a yard sale. It was Ali’s adoption day gift.

Ali’s navy table was a Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa. The metal folding chair is vintage from an estate sale in my neighborhood. I got it when I was putting together our first room for future foster kids.

The small guitar was a baby shower gift before our first placement. It’s still a bit too complex for Ali but she likes to bang on it, August Rush style. The blue guitar is really special to me. It was the guitar Jason first learned to play guitar on…it deserves it’s own post.

The TV is not attached to anything except power. Eventually we plan to get another Roku box for this room (which we use for Hulu and Netflix) and attach a DVD player. We’ll also need some kind of shelving for that.

The robot decals I won from a giveaway on Design Mom. Ali loves to give them kisses.

Ali’s favorite activities right now are the slide (going down and sending toys down) and sitting at her table to play with stickers

FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.

Related Posts:

New Home Tour: Kitchen

New Home Tour: Living Room

New Home Tour: Dining Room

 

Advertisements

Buried in Paperwork

02/27/2013

Screen shot 2013-02-27 at 9.40.15 AM

OK, not really buried. See that small stack of paper work? It’s 25 or so forms that I need to fill out before the home visit with our case worker tomorrow.

(The big binder jammed full of paperwork in the background is from our training, home study and 1st year classes from almost 2 years ago.)

I’m on deadline at work with one of the three magazines I design. I have worked the past two evenings trying to get that all wrapped up. One more day…maybe two…and I’ll be able to take a good, long, deep breath.

In other words, the post I had planned to write for today didn’t happen. Tour of another room in our new home coming tomorrow. I’ll be back soon.


And Then There Were Two

02/26/2013

Oh, but not a foster placement. Boy did I confuse a few people on facebook! On the foster care front, our case worker is coming out on Thursday to check out our new home and move us back into open status, assuming all goes well. (GULP.) We could potentially start getting placement calls this weekend. (DOUBLE GULP.) Our home is as ready as it’s going to be, which made it easier for us to agree to watch our friends’ little boy Jaron for 4 days/nights with less than 24 hours notice. We joked that it would be good practice for life with two kids but dang… it was good practice! We learned a lot. It was almost as big of an adjustment as suddenly being parents to a toddler (our first placement). That was encouraging on two levels – 1. It was not as big of an adjustment. (We’re experienced now! Woot!) and 2. With our first major adjustment it got better after a week or two so I know that it would get better with two kids, also. The major difference, of course, is that we already knew and loved Jaron and his parents and we knew it would just be a few days. They also gave us a ton of directions on how to care for him, clothes, food, toiletries, etc. All of those things made it easier. It was still very stretching to have two almost-twin toddlers, and I know it was hard on little Jaron, too. One of the biggest things I learned: Being out numbered by munchins is no joke! It was much easier when Jason and I were both there to split the duties. He’d put one kid to bed, I’d put the other to bed. He’d carry one kid into the store, I’d carry the other. We both had at least 1 day where we were solo parenting both kiddos. Oy! But again, I know it would get better the longer we had to settle into a ruetine and get used to each other. Ali did really well sharing her parents. I hardly noticed any jealousy. There were a few periods when both kids wanted the one-on-one adult attention that they’re used to and I wasn’t able to meet both of their needs at once. They weren’t upset with each other but at one point while I was trying to warm up some leftovers for dinner (no way I was going to be able to cook!) and I had one kid clinging to each of my legs. It would have been comical if the shrieking/crying/whining wasn’t making me lose my mind. I even attempted to take a photo so I could laugh about it later but it don’t turn out. And I realized…What am I doing?! Just get the dang food in the microwave so I can sit on the floor and hug both kids at the same time.

So on to the fun stuff. These two are so sweet together.

IMG_1335

This boy is a messy eater! Lord, have mercy…He’s so stinkin’ cute though. Smiles and laughs easily.

IMG_1338 IMG_1351 IMG_1367 IMG_1370 IMG_1373

They two both get kissed a lot by their parents so they love to kiss each other as well. So cute!

IMG_1376

Happy Valentine’s Day!

IMG_1380

Ali thought the chalk would make good lipstick…her latest obsession.

IMG_1383 IMG_1394 IMG_1399 IMG_1401 IMG_1412 IMG_1413 IMG_1415

Hi, Lucy! Yes, I still love you.

IMG_1416

Flashback… one year ago:

IMG_3487

 


New Home Tour: Dining Room

02/25/2013

Our dining room is sunny, shiny and functional. It’s pretty minimalist for now, which helps with keeping it clean when you have a 19 month old. It overlooks our courtyard and natural light pours in all day long.

IMG_1077

I’m very happy with our impulsive decision to get the big version of the IKEA MASKROS light for this room.

IMG_1212

Besides the planet-size chandelier, the biggest statement of the dining room is the exposed concrete block wall that runs along the face of most of our house, including the courtyard.

IMG_1486

This room gets some pretty amazing sunlight. Lunch time is particularly nice.

IMG_1215

It may not look like it since it’s all sparkly clean for these photos, but we’re one of those weird families that all sits down together to eat here every evening. We hold hands and thank God for the food and then we all sit together until everyone is finished. Strange, huh? I love having six chairs even though we only use 2 plus a high chair most days – it feels like we’re always ready for more.

IMG_1222

In a dream world, I’d add a rug under this table but with the amount of food that ends up under the high chair, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. A tarp maybe, but not a rug! This sweet puppy helps a lot with food clean up but she’s a picky eater. Lucy won’t eat any vegetables except raw onions, very little fruit and no seafood.

IMG_1231

This big blank wall is just begging for art. I know what I want to put here but it’s not going to be cheap to get a giant canvas or poster made. So we wait. Good thing we like white walls. We’d also like put a credenza or hutch against that wall.

IMG_1226

FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.

Related Posts:

New Home Tour: Kitchen

New Home Tour: Living Room


Phone Photo Friday

02/22/2013

Screen shot 2013-02-21 at 9.07.36 PM

I went to the doctor’s office to get an antibiotic for my upper respiratory infection and they made me wear the flu mask of shame in the waiting room, just in case. Blah. Doctor’s orders: taking the day to rest today, if my cute little girl will let me.

Most of my Phone Photo Friday pictures are from my Instagram feed. Follow me @mahlbrandt if you’d like!


New Home Tour: Living Room

02/21/2013

My other favorite room in our house is the the living room. It’s the perfect spot for my morning quiet time, for playing together as a family, for an afternoon cup of tea while the toddler naps, for chatting with visitors, for a late night crackling fire in the fireplace.

IMG_1240

Eventually we’re going to get a big soft rug and a sofa that better fits the space. I love these birds and how the sunlight moves across the blue wall like geometric clouds.

IMG_1241 IMG_1248

I absolutely love the clerestory windows and the light shelf below them. We have strings of LED lights up there for a soft glow in the evening.

IMG_1249

That’s a pocket door that leads into hides my work room (office, laundry, crafts). I always wanted a pocket door.

IMG_1250

We’re still deciding on some large scale art for that big white wall on the right.

IMG_1255

In the summer the foliage in the backyard is so thick we can hardly see our neighbor’s house. In the winter, Ms. Dawn gets to watch us having dance parties in our living room while she stands at her kitchen sink. We don’t mind.

IMG_1256

We only keep a few toys in the living room since we have a den/playroom and Ali has a bedroom for her belongings. It’s nice to have a few smaller toys for her out here, though.

IMG_1264

IMG_1194IMG_1259

I put this flow chart where I’d walk past it every morning on the way to work.

IMG_1261

I found this in Jason’s grandma’s basement a couple years ago.

IMG_1262

We wanted to keep the living room separated from the kitchen and dining room but still feel like one big open great room. This floating wall was the perfect solution for us.

IMG_1265 IMG_1198

Yes, we scarred our beautiful fireplace with the dreaded big black box. Let’s face it…we use it more than the fireplace even though we’re really not much of TV watchers. Ali sometimes watches 1 or 2 shows a day on Netflix, like Dora the Explorer, Yo Gabba Gabba or Seseme Street. It’s a nice down time for all of us and some days is the only way I can get dinner made or laundry folded.

IMG_1200

IMG_1184

Thanks for stopping by!

FYI, our architect is Ryan Thewes.

Related Post: New Home Tour: Kitchen


Introducing… Marcus James

02/20/2013

If you recall, last week I explained that the reason we were unexpectedly watching our friend’s son is because the friends who were planning to babysit him had to suddenly up and go to Kansas to pick up their new one month old baby boy. They had been matched with a birth mom and had less than 24 hours notice to decide and go. They filed their adoption papers on Valentine’s Day and are currently still waiting in Kansas for the Interstate Transfer documents to come back so they can leave the state. Here are a couple photos of their little sweetheart:

72606_10200814071333926_740612122_n

600017_10200836827942827_366698612_n

They’re still in need of funds for their adoption if you’re interested in helping out. More information on their blog site.