our new house

we are officially in our new house!  we had a big moving day on friday, august 1.  it took several full truck loads, much appreciated assistance from our family, plus we hired a couple of guys to help with the furniture - but we are in.  of course we still have furniture sitting in random places, so much to unpack, and a pile of boxes at my parents house, but we're slowly getting settled.

the night before our moving day, we were able to have a little time in the empty house - walking around, talking about our plans, and taking pictures.  i thought i would post a thorough house tour, so be prepared for tons of pictures below...

you've seen the exterior photo before, but here is another picture of our house from the street.  you can barely see the sunroom behind the tree to the right.  that is our driveway leading back to the garage behind the house.



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the back of the house has a new(ish) 2 story addition, and a stamped concrete patio.  that's the sunroom, now on the left side.

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the yard is small but has some established landscaping and is fenced.  the garage is to the right.

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moving on to the interior - this is the entry, the front door is to the left with a coat closet behind the door.  the front half of the house is the original portion of the home.

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standing at the entry and looking into the house, you see the living room.  there is a working fireplace and a built-in shelf in the corner.  the open door leads to the sunroom.

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the sunroom...

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standing near the sunroom door, this is the view back into the house.  the front door is on the left, and the dining room is beyond.  the walls that separate the dining/living room have a curved edge.  the doorway just before the dining room leads to the hall, and the door off of the dining room is to the kitchen.

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the dining room, kitchen to the right.

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standing in the other corner of the dining room, you can see another built-in, and the curved wall.

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looking into the living room from the dining room.

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this view is standing at the doorway from the dining room into the kitchen.  it's a galley style kitchen. straight ahead is the back door.

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this photo is looking back towards the dining room.  there is another doorway on the other side of the ovens that leads back into the hallway.

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the kitchen connects the addition to the original house - this photo is taken near the end of the counter, looking into the family room.  the back door is on the left of the photo.  you can see the backyard and the garage through the windows.

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the family room actually steps down so the carpeted area is one step lower than the rest of the first floor.  the door on the right is for the first floor den / office (original to the house, and was probably a bedroom).

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standing in the family room, you can now see the step and the end of the kitchen counter.  there is another closet inside the back door.

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another view from the family room - the office is through the door on the left (which is actually a pocket door).  the door on the right leads to the basement.  there is a full basement under the original part of the house, but only a crawl space under the addition.

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stepping up into the office, there is a built-in with shelves and drawers, another closet, and another door that leads back to the hallway (the door is open, the actual doorway is on the wall to the right in this photo).

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walking through the office, you are now in the hallway - you can see how it circles back to the kitchen.  outside of the photo but the the left is the doorway back to the front living room.

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looking back the other direction you can see the office.  there is a half bathroom at the bottom of the stairs.

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the half bathroom...

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moving on upstairs - at the top of the stairs, if you turn to the left you are in the master bedroom / addition.  if you turn to the right, you see the view below.  wesley's room is the door on the left at the end of the hall.  there are 2 built-in cabinets in the upstairs hall.

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turning the corner in the hallway, you see the third bedroom, which will be a guest room.  there is a full bathroom at the end of the hall.

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standing outside of wesley's room, looking towards the master.  the stairs are on the left beyond the cabinet.  the door to the right is a closet.

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this is the master bedroom, which is part of the addition, and is over the family room at the back of the house.

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looking back the other direction (the door to the room is just outside of the photo on the left), you can see the door to the attached bathroom and closet.  the room has vaulted ceilings, and the space above the bathroom door was built for a tv.

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once you pass through the doorway into the bathroom, the vanity is straight ahead, and shower/toilet/bath area is on the right.

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to the left is a walk-in closet.

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there is a second closet off of the bedroom, but it doesn't have any shelving or clothes rods.

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wesley's room is at the front of the house and has a nice dormer window.  

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it's a good sized room for a little boy, and has a decent closet.  it also has 2 windows and gets nice light.  there is a mirror on the front of the door, which makes the photo below a little odd.

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the guest room is the other room at the front of the house with a dormer.  it also has 2 windows, and is a decent sized room.

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lastly, there is a full bath at the end of the hall.  behind the door is one more built-in cabinet.

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so that's it!  i'm sure that those of you who know me, know that there is already a running list of things that i'd like to eventually change or update.  more immediately, we would like to starting painting the walls, and already have a date scheduled to replace the lavender carpet in the master bedroom.  after much debate, we also decided that the best solution for our yard was to install a short section of electric fence across the driveway, making the yard fully secure for our dogs.  

most importantly, wesley seems to really like the new house, and we are excited about turning it into a home for our family.  

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wesley's first birthday

wesley turned one at the end of june.  i am still amazed at how quickly his first year went, but i guess that is to be expected.  probably even more so when you also complete a home renovation, sell a house, move, start new jobs, and buy a house.  it sure has been a busy year for us all!

wesley had his one year dr appointment on june 26.  he weighed 21 lbs 3 oz, putting him at 47% for weight.  i was happy to hear that he was gaining again, after his drop a few months ago.  surprisingly he was in the middle percentage for height too - 29.75" and 43%, as he's always been near the top.  i think he looks tall.  his head was 18.5", and 75%.  poor guy must have gotten his big head from me.

by the time he turned one, we had stopped be as cautious with introducing new foods and he was eating a wide variety of things.  he didn't really eat sweets though until his cake on his first birthday (more on that later!)  he seemed to prefer meats and veggies over fruits and cheese.  he began to be really interested in playing with toys, and was "talking" more, although still hasn't said any formal words.  he started using the "more" sign when he wanted more food though.  one of his favorite activities was chasing after the dogs with one of his push toys.  right after he turned one we started phasing out nursing - dropping first the morning session, and then the evening session.  we mixed in whole milk, and he did great with the transition.  since i no longer needed to wake him up in the mornings before work, we started letting him sleep in.  he would typically sleep from about 8:00 or 8:30 a night, until 8:00 or so the next morning.  he continued to take 2 naps a day - little man loves to sleep!

wesley's first birthday just happen to fall on a saturday, so we decided to have a little party for him at my parents house.  we kept it simple, although i did make a fun birthday banner that i plan to use each year.

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wesley and his friend had fun playing in the baby pool, that shovel is still a favorite toy.

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i also made a second banner with all of his monthly photos from his first year. i think it turned out really cute, and i hope to hang it in his new room for a little while.

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as for the food, we grilled a few kinds of mini burgers, and then just had a pasta salad, a cabbage salad, fruit and chips.

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i made wesley his own funfetti cake.  he was a little hesitant at first, but after a few bits, he started eating  cake by the handful.  in addition to pieces of birthday cake, we also made strawberry lemonade cupcakes for everyone else.

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after cake, wesley opened his presents.  he received some very nice gifts and enjoyed playing with the ribbon and paper - until he realized that the boxes had toys inside.  then he just wanted to get down and play with his new toys.

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it was a great day, and we were happy to celebrate with everyone.  happy birthday little man!

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first family vacation

we were invited to a wedding in california in april.  we really wanted to go to the wedding, but weren't sure what we would do with wesley.  he was going to be about 10 months old, and the idea of flying that far away, plus a 2 hour time change, just for the weekend seemed a little crazy.  (when we were planning this, we were assuming we'd be in st louis, so we ended up adding another hour to the time change, and a longer flight since we were actually in ohio in april).  the wedding was just south of san francisco, so we decided to extend our trip and fly out the week before.  we thought that breaking up the long flights would be good for wesley, plus that gave him some extra time to adjust to the time change.  we were also excited to take our first family vacation.


our flight left ohio at 10 am on a tuesday morning.  we purposely picked our flight times to try to work with wesley's sleep schedule.  we had a layover in denver, and then continued on to san jose.  we were lucky and neither flight was full, meaning we were able to take wesley's car seat on the plane, and he was able to have his own seat.  he did fantastic on the plane.  we brought a few toys, and some food to try to keep him entertained, but he really liked just looking around at all of the passengers, and playing with the seat tray.  he also napped well, which really helped.  i think that having the layover halfway through was perfect - it was quick, really just enough time for a diaper change and to grab some lunch, but wesley was also able to crawl around for a few mins while we waited to board the next plane.

we arrived in san jose at 1:30 local time, and picked up our rental car.  after seeing how much stuff we had, we were talked into upgrading to a small suv.  i'm glad we decided to get a slightly larger car.  we tried to pack light, but traveling with an infant is difficult!  we had his pack n play, stroller and car seat, plus all of our clothes and luggage.  we headed south towards monterey - we rented an apartment through airbnb for the first few days of our trip.  we arrived at the apartment late afternoon and were pleasantly surprised with how nice it was.  it was a one bedroom, with a large living room, bathroom, and a little kitchen nook.  it was ideal for our family because mike and i could put wesley's pack n play in the nook, and then we were able to hang out in the living room area without disturbing him.  after unpacking, our entire family was hungry, so we decided to grab the stroller and walk to monterey to sight-see and find dinner.

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tuesday night we purposely kept busy until about 8pm california time, and then we headed back to the apt to put wesley to bed.  we had also tried to keep him up a little later each night in the few days leading up to the trip.  even though it was a 3 hour time chance, he really had no issues adjusting to the time.

on wednesday we were all up and ready to go pretty early, so we got in the car to find breakfast.  after a fantastic breakfast (with seafood!), it was back to the apt for a quick nap, before walking down to the monterey aquarium.  wesley had never been to an aquarium before.  the aquarium was one of the big reasons why we decided to visit monterey, so we were hoping he'd really like it.  he loved it - he kept watching the fish swim around, and laughed at the otters playing.  we were there for a large part of the day, and all had a a great time.

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we left the aquarium later in the afternoon because wesley was starting to look pretty sleepy.  we thought he'd fall asleep in his stroller while walking around, so we decided to visit some of the little stores in monterey.  we ended up finding a winery that had a nice seating area overlooking the ocean.  after tasting a few wines, we purchased a bottle and found a quiet seat near the windows.  wesley finally fell asleep in his stroller, and mike and i enjoyed our wine with a few appetizers.  it was a relaxing way to end our afternoon.

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since we weren't sure how wesley would do with dinner out that evening since he had such an exciting day and shorter naps, we ended up ordering in sushi later that night (yum!!).  

thursday morning, after enjoying coffee and pastries on our patio, we got in the car and headed south.  we stopped at point lobos state reserve, and spent the rest of the morning hiking along the trails.

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i was glad we brought the baby ergo (carrier), as the trails would have been difficult with our stroller.  wesley seemed fine with hanging out in the carrier while we hiked around.  after a few hours, we got back in the car and started driving south again towards big sur. we stopped along the way for lunch at hotel that overlooked the coast, it was really pretty.

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at this point, wesley had fallen asleep in the car, so mike and i took turns getting out to look at the scenery along the various look-out points on our way to big sur.  we drove around big sur for a little while, and then headed back north to carmel.

once we arrived in carmel, we walked around the various shops until we found a place that sounded good for dinner.  it was a really nice place and we were a little nervous about taking wesley to such a fancy resturant.  we shouldn't have worried, he quickly made friends with the couple at the table next to us, and was well behaved and happy the entire meal.  while in carmel, we walked down to the beach to give wesley his first experience with sand.  he hated it!  he didn't like it on his feet, and refused to be put down.

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hopefully he will learn to love the beach because we like to vacation near water.  on the plus side, we actually ended up at a dog beach and since it was dusk, many families were there playing with their dogs.  even though he didn't like the sand, wesley really liked watching all of the dogs play in the water.

on friday morning we cleaned up our apartment and packed up our car.  we needed to be in palo alto that evening for the rehearsal dinner, but decided to take a long route to palo alto, doing 17 mile drive and stopping at pebble beach along the way.

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we stopped again in carmel to grab lunch before heading on to palo alto.  wesley really did well at all of the restaurants that we ate at on our trip.  we were usually able to find something little on the menu for him to try, and we brought plenty of pouches and puffs for him to snack on.

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once in palo alto, we met up with my family and we relaxed for a little bit in the afternoon before dressing for the rehearsal dinner.  dinner that evening ended up being really late, but wesley stayed happy even though it was hours past his normal bedtime (not even including the time change!).  he quickly charmed all of the guests.

on saturday morning we enjoyed a big breakfast with the family, and then let wesley nap for a little while before meeting up with everyone to head up to the wedding site.  it was up in the mountains, so we all took a van to the location.  the wedding venue was beautiful, and the food was fantastic.  even though it was a long afternoon and evening, we had so much fun with wesley and our family and i was so impressed with how happy he was the entire time.  we brought his car seat along, thinking he'd want to nap at some point in a quiet corner, but he didn't want to miss anything.  he did fall fast asleep as soon as we got in the van to head back to our hotel though.

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i just love these photos of mike and wesley.  

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after such a late night, everyone was glad to sleep in a little before we had one last family brunch.  our plane left at 2 on sunday afternoon, so we left the brunch a little early to get to the airport on time.  unfortunately, our luck ran out and the first flight to chicago (which was the longest of the entire trip) was fully booked,  wesley had to sit on my lap the entire time.  he did fine, but it was difficult for him to find a comfortable position to sleep in. the last flight from chicago to columbus wasn't full, so we were able to use his car seat again.  except by then he just wanted to be held, i think he was ready to go home.

we didn't get home until after midnight and then mike and i had to get up for work the next day.  it was a little rough for us, but wesley seemed to adjust quickly back to his normal schedule.  i think that he was so tired from the trip, that helped him sleep longer the next morning.

we had a great vacation and were beyond impressed with how well wesley did with everything!  hopefully he'll continue to be as adaptable and easy-going as he gets older...

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