Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Time flies...B's first birthday

It seems like just last week that we were headed to the hospital in hopes of soon meeting our babe. I would've never guessed I could love so much, yet love so much more every single day. And be exhausted at the same time. Today's Atlanta weather makes me oh-so-thankful we met him this time last year instead of 2014. 

While life for the Velmers is completely different than it was this time last year, it is most definitely all for the better. A "catastrophic" ice storm or "national emergency" wasn't gonna keep us from celebrating our favorite little fella.

After a blueberry pancake breakfast, we focused on some serious playtime while Dad tended to some work stuff. Someone was very happy when Dad emerged for fun time.

After a solid nap, it was party time.

And, for the cake? Lemon blueberry cake with blueberry jam filling and lemon buttercream frosting, topped with fresh blueberries, of course.

the poor little cake doesn't know what's coming

really dad, i can eat all of these blueberries? with no bib??

oh yeah. nom nom nom nom nom.
I think he would've been perfectly content to just eat the blueberries, but that wouldn't be as much fun. After removing some of the berries, we got down to business.

mmm. this stuff is tasty.

hey dad! there's BERRIES in here!!!!!

And, sometimes cake is so good you just want to sit in it.

Once the cake saw its demise by derriere, we cleaned up and got to some presents.

A dump truck, a swing, and a hammerin' bench - not a bad haul for the cutest one year old on the block. A few out-of-town gifts are held up due to Snowmaggedon, so it'll be the birthday that keeps on givin'. That's the best kind anyway.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Santa Clause

Yes, I know there isn't an "e" on the end of his name. Thanks for bringing up a touchy spelling bee subject from 2nd grade. I could've won state dammit.

Anyway, I need to vent about something else entirely. I may be new to this mom thing, but I am not new to Christmas. Or Santa. We go wayyyy back. I visited multiple times during my holiday shifts at mom's store in Mellor Park Mall. But where did I miss the memo that in order for my 9 month old to have his requisite  nostalgic pic with Santa I'd have to (ahem) make an appointment (ahem, ahem) MONTHS in advance. Seriously? Is it somewhere in fine print on the hospital discharge papers??

I'm not into "the" Santa at Phipps Plaza for this very reason. I'm pretty sure it was September when I heard about making appointments online. Of course, none were available & I was put on the wait list. For SANTA. In SEPTEMBER. (It may have been August. Actually, pretty sure it was still summer.)

But all. of. these. people. freaking out on social media about it is KILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLING me. I can't help but feel like those so focused on something so trivial are missing the meaning of the holiday altogether. Yeah, I'm a Christmas nut like the rest, but this just irks me. Tonight I held B, singing carols to him as he dozed. And I think he liked it. Those are the moments, mamas. Not some unshaven stranger with your kids on his lap.

And while I get that older kids may question Santa's differing appearance if you see a different one each year, I'm pretty sure it's not the biggest concern of the holidays. If those bell ringers had a penny for every wait listed mom...

That is all. Stepping off soap box. Good night.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Renovation: Progress Report

So yeah, I promised updates along this renovation road we've now been traveling for 3 months (so much for a 6-8 week project, ahem). Well, I would've LOVED to share progress--if any had been made. Seriously, demo still had a loooong way to go as we entered Week 7.

However, we are rolling now. I honestly don't know what's come over the crew the last 10 days, but holy smokes. It's really amazing how much they can accomplish when they, well, show up.

So here's a check-in with our initial project list & some photo updates to document (the photo layout isn't cooperating, bear with me):

  • Install hardwoods - in progress
  • Remove the peninsula- check
  • Demolish bulkhead- check
  • new cabinetry & countertops - check, check
  • new appliances - scheduled for delivery
  • new lighting - purchased, pending install
  • update wiring - check
  • install tiled wall with open shelving - tile, check; shelves pending
  • construct banquette eating area 
  • move gas line for stove - check

Secondary Bath:

  • Demo tile - check
  • Replace floors - check
  • Install new tub/toilet/vanity - triple check
  • Update all fixtures - check
  • Remove built-in cabinet - check
  • Swap position of toilet & sink to accommodate larger vanity - check

 Living & Dining:

  • Update built-in cabinet doors (in living & hall)
  • Remove brown shag carpet - check 
  • Install chandelier in dining - pending install
  • Install can lights in living - check
  • Install ceiling fan in living - pending install
  • Update fireplace surround & mantle - scheduled
  • Bump-out fireplace to accommodate TV mount & cables in-wall - check (big shout out to hubby's carpentry skills here!!)
  • Install hardwoods (also in foyer, kitchen, & halls) - underway
  • Replace moldings (not originally planned, but due to unexpected ceiling collapse & replacement, the old ones had to come down)


  • Replace existing radiant heat & boiler with efficient Central Heat (at least Central A/C is already in place!) - check
  • Convert to tankless hot water to make room for master closet expansion - check
  • Bring electrical up to code - check 
  • Install can lighting in main living areas, per code - check
Master Suite: 
  • Expand & renovate master bath - check
  • Close doorway from master to guest bedroom - check
  • Convert former mechanical room to walk-in closet - check, pending install of Elfa system
  • Remove brown shag carpeting - check
  • Install carpet

B's Room:

  • Remove shag carpeting - check
  • Install carpet
  • Install closet system in large closet
  • Convert small closet to reading/play nook

Guest Room:

  • Paint wood paneling
  • Close & patch secondary opening
  • Install closet system


  • Update laundry space - underway
  • Repair windows as needed - underway
  • Updated moldings throughout - underway
  • Sheetrock repair throughout - check, plus a surprise project: the plaster ceilings collapsed while the electrician was banging on the electrical panel, so we had to replace the majority of the ceilings. Of course, that requires some molding updates where the ceiling meets the walls.
  • Update paint & finishes throughout
  • Replace interior doors
  • Bury rear electrical lines to garage

Wow, seeing all those check marks feels good! I mean GOOOOOOOOD. I love crossing items off my to-do lists! A week ago this update would've looked very different. It's a good thing we're making such headway since we have to be out of our apartment in 10 days. Let the packing begin!!!

Once we move in, I promise real, non-phone pics of the finished product. Heck, I may even edit them. Considering that most visits were in the evening, we haven't had power until 2 days ago, & that I often was balancing B on my hip, you're lucky to have any photos at all. Just sayin'.