Teller and Nixon’s One Year Update

By | The Brothers May | 2 Comments

This Teller and Nixon update is long overdue! Here’s the last update. My boys actually turn 14 months old today, but I’ve learned in the baby world, two months is actually just 5 minutes long. I’m worried I’ll finish this sentence and end up at their preschool graduation. Craziness.

So, the big milestone happened. My sweet baby boys had their first big birthday. I shared their Miffy birthday party details already, but this post has been so much more fun to write. On the morning of their first birthday before the Easter craziness started (yep, same day!), I got out the good camera and captured them in their natural habitat: at breakfast in their TMNT pjs, in their high chairs, stuffing breakfast into their mouths.

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

 Teller’s 12-Month Update

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

Teller’s Stats at 12-Month Appointment

Weight: 19.64 lbs (15th percentile)

Height: 29.5″ (23rd percentile)

Head: 19.25″ (97th percentile)

Diaper Size: 4

Clothing Size: 18 months

Teeth: Just 2 on the bottom! (Although now he has 6!)

Nicknames: TT, Teller Man, Teller Feller, Bubba, TT Glenn

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

Personality: So far, Teller is a classic “sweet and sour” kid. He comes in for the attack via a slap or hair pull, but then follows up with a hug and a kiss, which is intensely entertaining to all of us. He’s most like his momma—not a morning person, has perfected an “icy stare,” is shy around new people, takes a few minutes in a new setting to observe and then he dives right in. He’s rotates between being fiercely independent to super clinger baby. He gives exceptional kisses. Mouth open, tongue out and head back. I swear he learned that from the dog and not me. Ha!

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

Sleep: Teller is our rockstar sleeper. He’s the first one to fall asleep and the last one to wake up. This boy has been sleeping through the night since he was 9 weeks old, and it takes a bad cold or intense teething to throw him off his game. He loves to belly sleep (always has) and recently, has enjoyed the luxury of a toddler pillow I’ve added to his crib. We’ve rocked him to sleep since day one, but just recently he’s shown signs of wanting to self-soothe. It makes me super sad to not have that rocking time with him each night, but he’s just not as comfortable in our arms as he used to be. Belly down, butt up in his crib is how he likes to fall asleep these days. (Sob.)

Food: This boy eats like a full grown adult. As soon as food hits the tray, he shoves it into his mouth as fast as humanly possible. If it weren’t for some interference from mom and dad, Teller would gladly play a game of Chubby Bunny every meal. It’s a symptom of being a twin… got to eat it fast so brother can’t get to it first. No real food aversions yet. He’s 100% table food at this point and he eats whatever we eat. We let him try everything, from spicy Indian to sautéed mushrooms, etc. He’s on all-whole milk this point, too, in sippies except for his morning baba.

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

Words: Mama, Dada, Baa!, Moo, Mo (More). He’s also an excellent signer—milk, more, please, stop, thank you are his faves. I can’t take credit for the sign language skills. Daycare initiated it, we reinforce it at home and it has been great for us in figuring out quickly what he needs/wants. 

Loves: We call Teller our personal furniture mover. He loves scooting furniture (his high chair, the kitchen chairs, the bar stools) around the room. He’s not full-on walking yet, but man, he excels at moving stuff around the house. He loves clapping, making sheep sounds, blowing kisses, fake biting, screeching at full volume, swinging on the porch, riding in the stroller, pulling brother’s hair, chasing Biggie (our chihuahua) and climbing anything.

Dislikes: His car seat, diaper changes, sitting in grass, being put down, two types of penicillin (so allergic!), outfit changes, getting his face washed, and more recently… bath time. Sigh.

Nixon’s 12-Month Update

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update
Nixon’s Stats at 12-Month Appointment

Weight: 21.4 lbs (42nd percentile)

Height: 30.25″ (52nd percentile)

Head: 19.5″ (99th percentile)

Diaper Size: 4

Clothing Size: 18 months

Teeth: 5! Two on the top (came in first), then two on the bottom, followed by a top front molar

Nicknames: Nicky, Nicky Ray Ray, Nix, Nicky Nix, Bubba

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

Personality: Nixon is our sweet, sensitive and outgoing little thing. He plays for a few minutes, then comes back to mom or dad for a quick cuddle before he moves on to the next thing. He’s silly and loves to play tricks and games. His favorite is offering to share a toy, then pulling back just as you’re about to grab it. He’s got jokes! He’s inquisitive and loves to study the details (like textures and pictures on a page) on nearly everything he picks up. He’s a morning person. As soon as he’s up, he’s all smiles and ready to take on the day. He’s a ham in group settings—the more eyes on him the better. He loves his brother with hugs and sharing, but brother loves him back with pokes and slaps. It’s sweet (but a little heartbreaking!).

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

Sleep: I really can’t complain too much about Nixon’s sleeping habits. He, too, has been sleeping pretty solidly since he was 9-10 weeks old. He needs some help getting settled in at night (Aaron or I going up a few times to rub his back or sing him a song), but once he’s settled, he’s out. Relatedly, he’s not nearly on board with the self-soothing thing, so we are still rocking him to sleep most nights. He is an early riser, oh my goodness. This boy is ready to rock at 5:30 – 6 am daily. Sleeping in until 7 am is a luxury these days.

Food: This child is an excellent eater, but his favorite thing is flinging his food around the room ape-style before he’s ready to dive in and eat. Every. single. time. Ha! Also on 100% table food, this guy loves hot dogs, pasta, mushrooms, broccoli, mangos and bananas. He’s a bit slow to finish his food, taking time to study every other piece before gobbling it down. He can have everything except strawberries, which make him a little rash-y.

Words: Mama, Dada, Moo, Uh Oh, Sta (Stop). He’s also great at sign language, particularly milk and more. His signs are always accompanied by his awesome, super toothy grin. Top and bottom teeth out, as wide as he can go, and with his eyes scrunched up. It’s the best.

Loves: Anything paper, the stairs, bath time, pulling out grass blades, flipping the dog’s water bowl, squeezing himself into tight spaces, shutting doors, the dog’s crate and playing cars.

Dislikes: Getting toys taken from him, diaper changes, being patient for food and riding with the car window down.

Together, they are quite the dynamic duo. I’m so jealous of their twindom. I imagine it’s pretty awesome to have a best friend with you every step of the way, every day. Do they fight? Ohhhh yes. A lot! But despite the wrestling and the slapping, they stick so close to each other throughout the day. I can almost see their little brains working together. It’s a really cool thing to be a part of.

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

Teller and Nixon's One Year Update

 

For Aaron and I, it felt like a huge accomplishment to survive one full year with twins. We did it! And it’s really hard, but also really rewarding. I could go into a whole post on lessons these babies have taught us… another day!

TGIF!

xo,

emily

DIY Stikwood Installation

By | Room Makeovers | 14 Comments

I’ve been hard at work on the Stikwood feature in our entryway. While the actual installation of Stikwood is easy, the location I’ve chosen for the wood has been well, involved! Lots of measuring and cutting. It reminds me of the wall ‘o tile in our old kitchen. Also, someone should invent some sort of sound barrier cloth so that the work can continue while the babies sleep. I’ve essentially been getting this done at night, so the saw is set up in the basement to protect the babies from the noise (and to keep them sleeping!). Let’s just say my thighs have become intensely muscle-y from all of the up and down.

DSC_4100

Alright, from start to finish, here’s how I’ve been installing my Stikwood wall. Let’s start allll the way at the beginning with how it arrives. I chose Sierra Gold, which is a really pretty mix of caramel and deep brown-colored wood. It arrived in a long skinny box. Inside are 1′ to 4′ lengths.

DIY Stikwood Installation

Because the folks at Stikwood expect the installation of each plank to be the classic staggered pattern, they’ve pre-cut the lengths of each plank accordingly. My one piece of feedback to Stikwood would be to include an option for uniform length planks, just in case there’s people out there (me!) who are considering more of a ship-lap look too. We do live in the world of Chip and Joanna Gaines after all. :) It was no big deal in the end, and I’m loving my staggered look.

With the wood de-packaged, I gathered my tools. It is possible to use install Stikwood without power tools, and while it’s a bit more tedious, it does a similar job to the miter saw. The garden gloves are for splinter protection. :)

DIY Stikwood Installation

DIY Stikwood Installation

Now, I was petrified of having too much wall leftover and not enough planks. I cut it close when I ordered. The surface to cover was 68 square feet and I ordered 80 square feet. It allows for an overage, but not much. To protect myself from too much waste/too many cuts, I tried to find two planks that together, could meet the width of the wall perfectly.

First, I measured the length of the wall.

DIY Stikwood Installation

Using that measurement (38.5″), I cut a piece of painter’s tape to length and stuck it to the floor. This was essentially my guide as I searched through the pieces to find two that equaled (or almost equaled) the 38.5″ length. At first I thought this might be a fool’s errand, but I was able to install 3-4 rows of wood before needing to make any cuts. Awesome. DIY Stikwood Installation

Just like with tiling a wall, it’s incredibly important to begin level. For this space, I knew it was likely that our floor trim was NOT level, which means the plank installation would not be as easy as simply setting the plank flush against the trim. See below. The Stikwood plank is level, while the floor trim is not. You can see the gap to the right. We’ll deal with that later.

DIY Stikwood Installation

And just like that, we are ready to install. The back of each plank is outfitted with three very strong adhesive strips.

DIY Stikwood Installation

The adhesive strips are super thin, as you can see, which I loved. I didn’t want to add any more depth than needed. The planks themselves, with the strips, are 1/8″.

DIY Stikwood Installation

After peeling the backing off of each strip, the plank was ready to install. Also, a word to the wise, these adhesive strips are STRONG. I’ve mentioned it before, but this is the most powerful adhesive I have ever encountered. Even more so than the nail glue we’d use in middle school to stick our fingers together. Ha! So, once these super-sticky strips touch the wall, they’re on. There’s a tiny bit of room for wiggling and re-adjusting, but for the most part, they stick and they stay, so make sure your placement is good the first time!

DIY Stikwood Installation

Once a row of planks have been installed, I used the the included Stikwood J-Roller to further reinforce the adhesive to the wall. This is one of those tools that was always at my side. It was a huge help in ensuring each plank got their rightful level of stick.

DIY Stikwood Installation

For the outside corners, because I didn’t have the benefit of a trim piece, I had to make sure that part looked good, too.

DIY Stikwood Installation

And of course, checking for level at nearly every step of the way. I really do think I get a rush of endorphins when I see that bubble rest perfectly between the lines. So, so satisfying.

DIY Stikwood Installation

My initial plank-conservation approach of finding two pieces that equal 38.5″ without cuts was worth it—check out how few scraps I had leftover after the first box. Niiiiice. 

DIY Stikwood Installation

I was surprised to see how far the first box went. Essentially the entire front side and half of the second. It’s about 40 square feet total.

DIY Stikwood Installation

After lots of peeling, sticking and rolling, I knocked out two full sides (and a tiny head start on the third) in about 3 hours. I have a little bit of finishing work to do (like sanding down extra length from the corners), but other than that, it’s getting really close.

DIY Stikwood Installation

DIY Stikwood Installation

Now, the big question is, how in the world am I going to decorate this wall? Talk about pressure! Plants? Art? Weird decorative objects? The options are limitless, but tricky. More coming soon.

HAPPY FRIDAY!
emily

Reclaimed Wood Wall in the Entryway

By | Room Makeovers | 5 Comments

One time long ago, in a land far far away, I started our entryway project. Will this project ever be done? I’m not sure. At this rate, I might wrap it up sometime in the Fall. Of 2020. Sigh. Bare (bear?) with me.

Here’s where we started. This picture was taken during one of our first walk throughs.

Wallace House

And we have made progress!

Tricorn Black Door

Let’s recap really quick: The project began last year when I updated the space with new sputnik lighting. And then a few months ago, the walls received a color-blocking treatment with white paint, some cool Covington art from Elm & Iron, and a bold, black door. Just recently, I added an eyeball teepee in one corner for the twins’ first birthday.

Miffy First Birthday Party

Is a teepee in an entryway a bizarre location? Maybe. But the Kardashians did it, which is how I justify most of my decisions, so it made total sense to me. See, here’s proof:

Source: Gawker.com

Despite all of those changes, the entryway was not feeling unique or interesting to me at all. It needed something. The statement of the black door helped, but something big and dramatic needed to happen. And I think I found a way to solve it.

We have this weird bumpout in the entryway (to hide our HVAC ductwork, see below, where the Covington poster resides) that also needed some attention. My first instinct was to ignore/hide it, but as I lived with it for awhile, I realized calling attention to it, not hiding it, might be a really fun way to bring some interest to the room. The idea is to fake it being an architectural element of the house, even though it’s just drywall framed over house guts. We can make it look like a support beam or an fireplace or just SOMETHING other than a drywalled bumpout.

Entryway Progress with Bona Floor Cleaner

Entryway Progress with Bona Floor Cleaner

I immediately turned to Stikwood. Have you heard of them? Stikwood is essentially peel and stick 100% wood, designed to make projects like these super simple. Each plank is about 3/18″ thin, which means no heavy machinery, heavy nails and big anchors needed to create the popular wood accent wall, island, ceiling, etc. They are not kidding when they say PEEL AND STICK. It’s made from reclaimed and sustainable wood sources.

Source: The Lipstick Giraffe

Source: Stikwood

I’ve had them pinned to my boards forever, so I sent them an email, as bloggers do, telling them my idea. While this isn’t an official partnership per se (meaning I’m not getting paid, and I didn’t get anything for free) I did get a discount from them to help with the cost. Stikwood is not cheap, but for me, the benefits of this product far outweigh the expense. I’ll share more on that throughout the process, too.

To get started on the Stikwood selection process, they sent me a box of wood samples so I could see the ranges of choices.

Stikwood

Of the several they sent me, I had my eye on three options in particular.

Stikwood Selects

Of my favorites, here’s the back of each sample plank. I like this shot too because you can see the industrial adhesive strips . By the way, these strips are STRONG. I’m pretty sure I could attach myself to a wall with one of these bad boys. They are rated for 10+ years.

Stikwood Selects 2

I browsed photos online of spaces using each of the options above to help me make my selection.

RECLAIMED SIERRA GOLD

Source: Christina’s Adventures

Love it on the ceiling in this picture! I chose this sample because I thought it would tie in nicely with the orange wood tones we’ve added throughout the home, like our roller shades and the new lighting above the island.

RECLAIMED WEATHERED WOOD

Source: Touch of Modern

This is the classic Stikwood option—I believe it’s their most popular. When you think of a rustic wood wall, this option is exactly what you think of. I mean, it’s gorgeous. I had some reservations, though, because my style isn’t exactly “rustic farmhouse”, so this was a mismatch for me.

RECLAIMED SIERRA SILVER

This one was tricky. It had the orange tones of Sierra Gold, but had some weathered gray and white bits mixed in. And oooh, so pretty. If you can’t tell by now, my final decision was Sierra Gold! I love that color of wood (and keeping buy it in shoes, jackets, skirts… everything lately) so it was a relatively easy choice.

And so now comes the installation. This is a big job because I’ve chose this bumpout instead of a flat wall. Lots of measuring and cutting. My saving grace with Stikwood is that power tools are optional. I can do small cuts by scoring with a utility knife, which in the dead of night when the babies are sleeping, sound-free work is absolutely mandatory. Priceless!

I shared this photo on Instagram (@gohausgo) last week. This is about how much I can do on a week night… ha!

Stikwood Wall

More coming soon. That whole wall is done now! Just the sides to go.

xo,

emily