Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kitchen Reveal Part 1

I say part one because there's still a bit more to do, but that won't be done for awhile so until then... here's the NEW(ish) kitchen! 

First let's look at what we were dealing with just 3 short weeks ago... 

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Here is what the kitchen looks like today: 

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First I tackled painting everything white. Then we did the ardex countertops on the main sink/prep area. Next we tackled the buffet area. Lastly, we hired someone to do the subway tile and Ritchie put on the hardware. The whole process took about 3.5 weeks and we still have a few things left to do. We need to replace the island countertops with butcher block, get different dining chairs and hang a bamboo shade for the window. 

The transformation is HUGE in this space. I can't even believe that a month ago the kitchen was an ugly oak kitchen with blue laminate counters. I'm thrilled with the change and the kitchen is definitely my favorite room in the house now! 

Five and a Half

Maxton is 5 and a half years old. Everyone out there with a newborn? Don't blink - just don't. I can't believe how fast time is flying. He starts Kindergarten in just 5 months. AHHH!! School age!

Anyway, what can I say about Max at 5 and a half?

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He's totally come into his own. He knows what he likes and doesn't and STRICTLY sticks to the things he likes. His likes include video games, tv shows, baseball, bubbles, oatmeal, board games, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, raw veggies, legos, bike riding (finally!), his dad, Bennett, his best friend Quinn, short sleeve t-shirts, gymnastics, reading, weapons, dress up, and helping in the kitchen if it involves knives or fire.

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He has recently decided that he dislikes hugs and kisses, especially from MOM. So sad. He's just too cool for them. He's also gained a competitive edge the past six months and must be the winner of all things. Games, running, etc. We're trying to humble him a bit while continuing this burst of confidence because it's nice to see him feeling so proud of himself, but also not so great when he loses and it's someone else's fault.

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He continues to be extremely sweet, but has also started rough housing his brothers more than usual. There's a LOT of boy energy in him and that's new. When he was little he was always really calm and that's not the case anymore. The great news is he's quick to apologize and typically does not repeat bad behavior once it's discussed with him.

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He's started READING in the past few months and mommy is THRILLED! Such a fun accomplishment! He does such a great job with it also. He's also starting to spell a bit (no more spelling words for us) and is counting to 100 easily (and loudly!) He writes his name and his family member's names and can write numbers 1-20. I'd say he's ready for K and while I'm nostalgic about the quickness of time, I'm also really excited about what's ahead.

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I just asked him what he wants to do for work when he grows up and he said, "Nothing. I can't tell you."

That made me laugh. He's really funny. He doesn't love jokes or "typical" humor, but he's got this funny way of making our whole family laugh. I wish I could describe it better... he's just goofy and quirky.

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He LOVES sharing a room with Bennett and misses him greatly if Ben naps without him or something. He's a people person and prefers to be surrounded by others. Good thing theres a lot of Lincolns!

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He started t-ball this spring and is working VERY hard on mastering cartwheels at home. He'll join gymnastics again this summer and keep with t-ball. I'd like to get him playing an instrument as well because he used to adore music and we've lost that a bit in the past year.

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He's very inquisitive. Always asking a question and wanting to know more about how the world around him works. If we don't know the answer he gets irritated, often saying, "Mom, you have to TELL me!" Haha! He likes information to be accurate as well and he will correct you if you're wrong.

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He's anti-girl right now, so I'm not his favorite person. When I get an "I love you" or some Max sweetness I feel VERY special.

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I like that he strives to be better at things and is gaining confidence. When I do something that makes Max smile, it makes me feel like a million bucks. There's a strong desire in me to make Max happy. He's the child I worry the most about and there's positives and negatives to that, but mostly I think it's because he's my first and everything with him is new territory for me.

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He's all boy now. Big boy, too. I'm so insanely proud of the big boy he's becoming. Sometimes I get a glimpse of "man" and it both freaks me out and excites me. I hope he'll still want to hang with his mom when he's grown and I hope I get to see a lot of Max's smiles for the rest of my life.

Monday, March 2, 2015

What I Read: February

This is a YA book about twins who experience a tragedy and learn to come into their own through art, loss and finding their way back to each other. It's quirky and I struggled with the writing style in the beginning, but quickly began to adore it. The story is one that reminded me how painful and messy and beautiful life really is. By the time I was done, I didn't want it to end. 

Ok... so, I'll start by saying that this book has over 7,000 reviews on Amazon with 4.5 stars and I've heard RAVE reviews from everyone I've ever heard has read it (nobody I know personally, but book bloggers, podcasters etc..). I expected to LOVE this book. I was intimidated by it because it's over 500 pages (my typical book length is around 400) and the synopsis sounded boring. Plus, it's a WWII novel. I'm not a big history buff and typically shy away from period or war pieces. BUT, this was my book club book so now I finally had a great reason to just get over myself and read the damn thing. 
I didn't HATE it. But, I certainly did not love it. I don't know that I can even say I liked it. It moved along okay... and was sort of interesting sometimes? That's it, guys. That's the best I can give you. Why this book gets rave reviews is beyond me. I'm glad I'm done reading it. 

How much can I say about a book without giving too much away? This was the PERFECT book for me to read after the aforementioned snooze-fest above. I needed something compulsive and in present times. If you loved the Serial podcast, I think you'd LOVE this book. Let's just say my jaw dropped more than once and I'll leave it at that! It's only a $3 kindle purchase right now, so if you read that way then go for it! It's worth $3 for sure! 

I listened to this one and I have to say... it felt a little like torture. I made myself get through it because I'm stubborn like that, but MAN - it was rough. It's a murder mystery and I just didn't care about any of the characters at all. I know quite a few people who have loved this book, but I just couldn't get on board. 

I've heard mixed reviews on this book, but I liked it a lot! I haven't actually laughed out loud from a book in a long time and I was laughing so much that Ritchie asked me what was so funny on several occasions. If you're sensitive to women being objectified and just general "female bashing" I guess (spoiler alert - his wife cheats on him which leads him to sort of generally feel negatively about women.) then you might not like this. If you're able to understand the context and read deeper into the reasoning behind the language, then you might find it hilarious, as I did. 

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