Friday, June 26, 2015

Our Staircase: Reno Series Vol. 3

Greetings and happy Friday!

Today I'm continuing our Renovation Series, i.e.  the never-ending project that is our house. Luckily we have made a lot of progress, even just over the past few months.

Other than the kitchen, the renovation of our staircase probably makes the second biggest difference in the overall appearance of the home. The stairs are the first thing you see when you walk in, and they were bad. The spindles were thick and far apart, Cooper could fit right between them and there were gaps between each stair. Super safe. The carpet was brown shag. Need I say more?

As I began research on how to remedy our situation, I was surprised to find that I could literally, replace our staircase; my husband was thrilled! And that's what we did. Take a look at the before and after pictures:

Right when you walked in the front door BEFORE:
BEFORE view from office:
AFTER view:
Who's sad I didn't keep the lovely yellow paint? 

I love the end-result, regardless of the huge headache it was doing this project while living in the house with a toddler and a newborn. Chew on that for a bit.

Paint colors used:
Benjamin Moore Clay Beige (Walls) - Note: we darkened the paint 50% because we have a ton of natural light come in the front of the house.  
Benjamin Moore Alabaster (Trim/stair spindles and risers).  

Here are 5 sources of some of what you saw in the pictures:

Thanks for stopping by! We have a few more projects to do around the house, but in the meantime, I am just trying to finish one room at at a time in - I'll share pictures as I complete them.

You can check out other posts in my Renovation Series here (the kitchen reno) and here (the simple front door reno).

Have a great weekend!

Keep in touch! Follow along on Happy Haven Blog's Facebook page.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

One piece of advice for the new mom.

I've been a mom 3-years and 4-months now, and I can tell you, I have changed.

Old me was a resource-hound. Any little thing I deemed a problem with my child (sleep, eat, illness, behavioral) you name it, I was online and finding the solution. I spent way too much time and energy stressing about, well, what exactly? I wasn't worrying about problems per say, more like looking for problems. This ushered in by the "comparison game": why is her baby sleeping at 6-weeks, and mine 6-months? Why isn't breastfeeding working for me? Why is my son falling back on the growth chart?
And now, here I am almost 11-months into baby number two (GASP) and a TOTALLY different, MUCH happier mama. For all who were wondering, it turns out baby's just sleep through the night at different ages, because, you know, they're different people, nursing isn't a breeze for everyone, and well, we just make short babies. Now I don't just know, but I understand that every child is different. If I could go back and give new-mom-me a piece of advice, it would be: put the book down, and don't worry so much.

My mom-mantra is grace and my mom-motto hangs on these three beliefs:
  • First, 'this too shall pass.' Seriously! Your child WILL sleep through the night, AND eventually be potty trained. I promise.
  • Second, we find our mom-joy in the little moments with our kids - and THIS sustains us through challenging times. Little voices saying "I love you mommy," happy smiles and coos. Small, easily missed moments are our life-line.
  • And finally, any type of parenting revolves around a whole lot of trial and error. Baby not napping well at 9am? Put her down earlier and see if that works. And by the time you figure it out, guess what, she'll change her schedule once again because, haha! So is life with a baby.
I can't be sure, but I believe my second has greatly benefited from my laid-back shift in parenting. Nothing is ever a big deal or a problem to be solved, it is simply a baby being a baby.
So, to you new mamas, as a recovering by-the-book-mom, heed my advice and soak in the imperfect moments. Know your child is perfectly made and you are doing a great job. Simplify parenting; follow your intuition and the lead of your baby. Don't be a slave to books or the comparison game. You will be less stressed, your child will be less stressed, and your family will be much happier.