Home Alone

Brittany is on an overnight business trip so it’s just me, Rose and the fur babies until tomorrow. This is the second time we’ve been on our own for the entire day and night, and I was fortunate Little Rose did so well the first time – she slept and ate on schedule.

I think she was taking it easy on me.

Since this isn’t our first go-round, I’m not nearly as scared as I was then. The days have become pretty routine – eat, change diaper, play, sleep, repeat. And we bought a Zipadee-Zip sleep blanket which seems to help her sleep better. Basically, I’ve perfected this stay-at-home daddying thing. (Sarcasm, in case you didn’t feel it. So very much sarcasm.)

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Nighttime, on the other hand, is when I’m still not used to being alone, because that’s when bath time and bedtime happen, while finding time myself to cook and eat. Also, my sleeping is different since I have to be more alert to the baby monitor, as well as knowing I will probably have to wake up anywhere from 3- 5am instead of my much preferred later time.

Rose and I are finding our rhythm, and she’s beginning to be so much fun. She has started making different noises, as well as copying facial expressions and noises we make. She’s grabbing toys, clothing, and my mouth. The mouth grab is the most interesting, because her nails grow SO FAST, and they’re SO SHARP. It seems she needs them cut every other day. She’s beginning to get a little personality. And she’s absolutely, without doubt, the cutest baby in the history of mankind. Though I may be slightly biased.

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I haven’t had an opportunity to work on any projects over the last week or so, but we are planning some pretty big ones in the near future. Currently we have a formal dining room and an office / playroom, both of which are closed off in their respective areas to the rest of the house. So we’re going to move the office to the other side and TEAR DOWN WALLS!!!!! to create an open living / dining room, doubling the livable space, while still being open to the kitchen.

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Demo Day will be here soon. I’m beyond excited. Hopefully we can start working on that in the next month or so, but there’s not a definitive time frame just yet.

I hope everyone’s Halloween was fun. We ended up not doing much and missed out on first Halloween costume pictures. Lame. But we’re already looking forward to next year’s costume opportunities.

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DIY Shelves

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We’ve been thinking of different kinds of shelving we wanted in our house, when one day Brittany decided she wanted an open pipe shelf on our living room wall. Most everything we have is either farmhouse style or shabby chic, so I was all for making something with a little more of a modern twist. I found the studs in the wall, did some quick measurements to make a rough blueprint and was off to Lowe’s for the supplies.

We both wanted to use reclaimed wood for the shelves, but without a ready supply of it, I decided to make my own. I started off by making a paste of baking soda and water, coated the wood and let it sit for several hours. I created a chemical stain with white vinegar, apple cider vinegar and extra fine steel wool, letting that sit overnight.

After putting together the pipe pieces, I sprayed them with Rustoleum Hammered Metal Black paint, attached them to studs in the wall and leveled everything. Then I scraped the paste off of the wood with steel wool, coarsely sanded the entire piece and did a fine sand to smooth out some of the rough areas. Afterwards I stained the wood and let it sit outside all day so the chemicals had plenty of time to work.

 

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The project itself isn’t that fancy or difficult, but I found a new favorite way to stain wood and am excited about the future projects where I’ll be using it.

 

6 Days In

This past weekend Brittany and I spent our first night away from Rose. We took a trip to downtown Mobile, AL for our anniversary, and she stayed with Brittany’s parents for the entire day on Saturday and most of the day on Sunday. It was great to get away and spend alone time with the love of my life and best friend.  It was also a nice break for both of us to have no responsibilities and to explore a new area. Well, almost no responsibilities. Even though we were without the Little One, Brittany still had to pump. We knew Rose eats a lot, but this is the first time Brittany has pumped and stored the entirety of the supply for this long of a time. It’s amazing how someone so small can drink so much milk. We managed, but were not prepared for how much extra we needed to pack away. We even made a trip to Academy Sports to check out their ice chest options. Brittany will be traveling for her job and make a lot of day or two trips, so we’re exploring options for her to keep in the car to battle against the southern Louisiana heat. Brittany has done a lot of research on it, but I guess we still haven’t found the one.

It’s been almost a week since I’ve officially been a stay-at-home dad, and since Rose rolled over, keeping us from using her swaddle. Getting her to fall asleep, and stay asleep, used to be easy, especially during the early morning feed somewhere between 1am and 3am. It has been almost a week since that changed too. She will be out cold in my arms until the instant I move her away to put her in the crib. Sometimes she fusses and I can get her down with just a little coaxing from her pacifier. However, other times it’s as if she becomes possessed by something and just won’t. stop. crying.

The day before our weekend getaway trip was the most difficult one so far. I haven’t been that tired, mentally or physically, in a long time. She would not cooperate with naptime, completely missing two consecutive times either from crying through it or refusing to go down at all. Nothing I knew how to do worked, and nothing worked twice. I have never felt anything quite like this frustration meets helplessness combined with sadness and doubt. She also learned a couple different crying sounds and styles to dig into my heart even deeper. heh.

All of the negative feelings, emotions and struggles can be overwhelming at times.

But I have also never experienced this feeling of contentment. Whether it’s during the day or after a 3am feeding, whenever our Little One is on my chest, head tucked under my chin, holding her arms by my neck, I am overwhelmed in an entirely unique way. I never imagined how deep and how far and how intensely I could love someone.

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Day 1

Today is Brittany’s first day back to work after a 12-week maternity leave. I’m beyond proud of her. Not only is she an amazing mom, but she also is one of the most caring and supportive people I know. Her co-workers and patients are lucky to have her back. And she is a pumping machine, regardless of whether we are at our house or if she is traveling. She is a super-mom and a super-person. I don’t know what I would do without her.

Our Little Rose has been rolling over from her belly to her back for a while now, but for the first time yesterday, she rolled over from her back to her belly. She’s growing up so fast! I’m thrilled she is progressing at a such a quick pace. However, a part of me is a little terrified. We have to watch her even closer now. The Little One is dealing with all kinds of differences when it comes to playtime as well as sleep time. Before, for both naps and bedtime, we would wrap her in her Swaddleme like a burrito.

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This kept her warm and prevented her startle reflex, where she would wildly throw her arms out, scaring herself awake. With the swaddle, her arms stayed close and she felt safe. Since she moves from front to back to front now, it is no longer safe for her to be a little burrito because she needs her arms to be free. Last night was a bit scary, watching the baby monitor as she tumbled over to sleep on her belly for the first time, trying to make sure she was still breathing.

(On a side note, I never thought I would be that parent: one who watches intently just to see if the baby is breathing. What a difference 3 months can make.)

We made it through the night, and her first two nap times thus far today. Now the challenge will be how to most efficiently use the free time I have during her naps. Cooking and cleaning have taken most of my time today. The little things are what I will have to better prepare for, though. Things like breakfast, and showers. 🙂

Regardless of any inconveniences, I’m loving staying with her. As I’m writing this at the desk I built, The Little One is in my lap, talking, playing and watching me type. She is really starting to see the world around her and trying to interact. Baby Einstein is one of her favorite things to watch, and we’re hoping to immerse her in other languages as early as possible with books and shows. Muzzy is what I’m hoping to use, since I used it during French class in school.

Anyway, it’s been a good first day. I’m tired, but nothing I can’t handle or get used to. This is going to be fun.

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So It Begins

My wife, Brittany, and I decided our family is best served by me staying at home with our child. This blog will be about my adventures, both good and bad, with our daughter, Rose. I will also show some of my building projects around the house, as well as anything else I feel is interesting enough to mention about life at the moment.

The title of this blog, Creating Home, references how powerful both of those words are. Home is more than a house; home is also a feeling, a peace of knowing I am where I belong. I am no longer daydreaming of the future, of the unknown; I am creating home.

Now.

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