Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We are addicted...

Hello, my name is Stephanie and I am a trashaholic.  It's true.  I don't know exactly how it happened, but it happened.  Since the discovery of the awesome dresser on Monday, my mind has been on nothing else.

Mark and I started thinking...maybe we could find more free furniture that people were hoping to throw out.  At first we laughed about it, and imagined ourselves being "Phyllis," the woman we saw on a recent episode of "Hoarders: Buried Alive" on TLC.  She would go out every night scouring neighborhoods in her truck, digging through people's discarded trash, hoping to find treasures.  Then, we got a little more serious.  Maybe we should just take a little drive and see what we come up with. 

So anyway, Mark dropped me off at home after work today, so I could start on dinner and he went on to get Monroe.  After he got home, he smiled at me and told me to look what he got for me on the back porch.  I was amazed at what I found.  A beautiful chair just waiting to be painted!  

Then, we went on a walk tonight around our neighborhood and we came home with not one, but two furniture items!!!!  One little table and a desk.  I is embarrassing.  We have promised each other that we will stop.  We won't take anything else until I have finished with what I have.  That is, unless we find a real "treasure.  OH NO!  I am starting to sound like Phyllis! 

The Chair 
Front of desk
Top of desk
Front of table
Top of table

Stay tuned for the "after" pictures! 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Crazy Dimensions

I think I forgot to mention Monroe's percentages when we went to the Doctor a few weeks ago.

Height: 75th Percentile
Weight: 25th Percentile
Head: 90th Percentile

Yes, we have a bobble head for a child. Tall, skinny, with a huge head.  

My New Project

From the time we got married, I have told Mark that my dream job would be refurbishing old furniture and selling it at expensive little boutiques.  It really seems right up my alley.

Have I ever refurbished a piece of furniture, you ask?  No, but I have always thought that I would love it.  I have always been looking for that perfect piece to start with.

Well, today was my lucky day.  Mark was driving home from work and noticed an old dresser/sideboard at a house a few blocks away from our house.  He mentioned it to me, and he persuaded me to walk down and check it out.  Monroe was covered with carrots, but I agreed.

It definitely needed some TLC, but it was love at first sight.  I saw so much potential and I knew it had to be mine.

My sweet husband carried the thing on his back all the way home!  It was hilarious.  Especially when he didn't see the low lying tree.  We looked like hobos.  Me, with my dirty baby.  Mark, with a pink dresser on his back.  I am so thankful we didn't run in to any of our neighbors.

Anyway, I think it would make the perfect changing table or child's dresser.  Putt's...don't you wish you lived closer????:)  I am so excited to start on it.

Here are a few "before" pics of this beauty.  I will post "after" photos, as soon as it is finished.




A few pics of the girl...

She can't believe her mom would actually put a bow that big on her head.
Sporting her new hat from her Auntie Pauline.
Trying to pull off a much too small hat.  
Such a sweetheart.  
Her new tights!  That is one cute tush:) 

Chilling out...clothes optional. 

Family Ties

Family has been the theme of our lives for the last few weeks.    First Mark's Mom and Dad came up from Kansas City.  They stayed from Saturday, March 13 to Wednesday March, 17th.  It was a great visit.  They helped us paint the guest room, which desperately needed done!  I can't remember if I mentioned before, but the room had been mauve with a burgundy ceiling.  It was pretty horrifying. I mean really, who paints a room those colors and thinks their house is going to sell?   It was funny, because everyone was like, "Oh, it's not that bad," until Mom Murrill came.  She took one look at it, and said "that's got to go"!  My thoughts exactly:).   The dark ceiling made the room feel so small. Well, anyway, with the new lighter paint, the room seems twice the size!  I am so glad we did it and we are so thankful we had such amazing help.

Mark and I both had to work, so they were gracious enough to watch Monroe so we didn't have to send her to daycare.  Not only did this save us a lot of money, it was great for them to get to spend some quality time.  They watched Max and Mason, as well, on Tuesday.  They even watched them on Tuesday night, so that Mike, Melissa, Mark and I could go out to dinner.  What a treat!  We were sad to see them leave on Wednesday, but we didn't have a lot of time to be sad, because the next day, my parents came!

When my parent's are around, food is always on the agenda.  They LOVE to eat out and we had so much fun "tasting" Chicago!  We found my "hands down" favorite Mexican place EVER!  It was amazing.  Usually, I hate that oily feeling I get after eating Mexican food, but this little restaurant had the freshest and yummiest ingredients.  From the guacamole, to the vegetable rice...delish!!! I can't wait to go back.  We also had Portillo's (famous Chicago hotspot), Giordano's (Chicago Style Pizza), Indian food, and we discovered the cutest little ice cream place in downtown Wheaton.  As much as I enjoyed it all, the scale let me know that I should probably take it easy:)      
We visited Shedd Aquarium in downtown Chicago.  It really is a wonderful aquarium.  It was so cute to see how interested Monroe was in all of the fish.  I had wondered if she would even realize they were there, but she really was mesmerized by it all.

My parents also love a good outlet mall.  My mom was devastated when we left Orlando, because she was sad to not have an outlet mall close.  Well, you can imagine her excitement when we learned there is not one, but TWO outlet malls around.  We headed to the closest one on Sunday.  There were some great sales and Monroe went a little nuts at Carter's and Oshgosh. Man, that girl can shop:)

Dad had to leave to go back to work on Tuesday, but Mom stayed until Thursday.  She watched Monroe and I can say without a doubt, those two girls are the best of friends.  I know they both were really sad to have to say goodbye.  I was, too:(

I feel like I got so spoiled while our parents were here!  From the free childcare to cooking and cleaning, our family showered us with sweet acts of love.  I miss them all so much!  I totally forgot to take pictures when Mark's parent's were here, and I am so mad at myself.  I did capture a few memories, during my parent's visit.  Enjoy:)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Night Insights...

There is nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain.  I am telling you, it is awful.  Monroe had her second round of shots today and I swear, she has never been madder in her life.  She was having a great time, no idea what was coming and that cruel nurse just plunged those four needles right in her thick little thighs.  Other than the shots, the doctor's visit went well.

I really think I am going to like her new doctor.  She is an older Indian woman who seems super knowledgeable.  She really seemed to love Monroe from the start and was also very helpful in giving me some exercises to help Rosie with building muscle strength.  I had been worried that Monroe was behind developmentally because of being premature.  Her doctors in Florida told me she would probably be about a month behind, but the doctor said she was doing great and not to worry.  She said just to work with her and she would probably progress normally.  This eased my fears.

She did mention that we should probably start trying to wean her from swaddling...ugh!  I knew this day would come, but I feared it.  It is now a habit and the only way to get her to sleep.  She can be yelling up a storm, but as soon as you velcro her in she is gone in two seconds.  The doctor said that we don't have to quit all together, but just try to do it loosely so that she can get out in the night if she needs to.  She is sleeping right now with no wrap.  It took her about 30 minutes to talk herself into it.  We heard her in there jabbering away, but she finally gave in.   I am not sure if she'll make it through the night.  We shall see:)

Mark and I are having a fun night.  We got all sentimental going through all of the pics of Monroe from her birth.  Wow, has that girl changed!  It is amazing to me how tiny she was.  To see her in her car seat at the beginning, she looked like a little tiny doll.  Now it's hard fitting her in there.  Mark turned to me while we were looking at them and said, "Does this make you want to have another baby?" and to be honest, I said without hesitation, "yes".   He agreed.  Now, just relax.  It won't be happening any time soon.  But we both decided we definitely want to have one more.  Maybe three.  We'll see:)

Somehow going through the pics has led us to watch our wedding dvd.  It is so sweet.  We were SOOOO young!  Anyway, that is what we are doing now and it is truly making us giggle and smile.

I made an experimental dinner tonight.  It is called "Creamy Artichoke Chicken".  Mark was VERY skeptical, but I think he was pleasantly surprised.  Here are the ingredients:

1 15oz can artichoke hearts chopped
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese (I only had cheddar on hand and it was fine)
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/2 cup low fat mayo (I hate mayo, so I used a bit less)
Garlic salt
Chicken ( I used morningstar chick patties, I wanted to use the Quorn brand vege-chicken strips, but I couldn't find any)
1 package of farfalle pasta (cooked)

Mix it all together (except pasta) and place over the chicken in a casserole dish.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Spoon over the pasta and salt to taste.  It was pretty good.  The recipe said to drain the artichokes, but next time I will not, as it was a bit dry.

Mom and Dad Murrill are coming tomorrow and are staying until Wednesday.  We are so excited to see them.  I am excited for them to see Monroe.  It is a amazing how quickly they change and develop in just a few weeks.  They will be watching Monroe on Monday and Tuesday, so they will have some quality time!  It should be fun.

Then on Thursday, my parents are coming.  Dad is staying until Monday and Mom is leaving on Thursday.  It should be a great few days.  We can't wait for them to get here!

Oh snap!  We just got to the part of the wedding when Mark is saying his vows!  It is soooo sweet.  For those of you who weren't there, he couldn't make it through (tears), and he actually turned to his brother and asked him to read them for him!  I had to give him the "your brother can't vow himself to me" look.     Mike had to support him through it...literally.  He was pretty much holding Mark up.  It was so sweet and it will always make me smile and cry a little.  What an amazing, generous, loving, sincere and yes, sensitive man I married.

Well, it's time to snuggle with my man.  Also, the beast awoke from her slumber and needs to be fed.  Love you all!

Here is a few pics I took of Monroe today.  I thought she looked pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself:)

Also, here is a pic of Monroe enjoying some prunes.  I think it looks like she has a mustache and goatee.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Boy, Oh Boy!

Well, it has been an exciting night.  Our dear friends, the Putt's, announced the gender of their wee one tonight!  They had a little "Gender Reveal" shindig at their house and we were invited via ichat.  It was great to see everyone from Florida and to celebrate the new little "MAN" that will be arriving in July!  I have had my bets on a boy since the beginning!  I just had a feeling and I am so happy for them!  They will be such great parents.  By the way, check out Tim's blog,, sometime.  Now that we know for sure they are having a boy, I can get started on a little project for that dude.  

I have been working on little projects for all of our friends having babies.  In Florida, working full-time had left me little time to do any crafting.  (In fact, I still haven't totally completed Monroe's baby quilt!)  With my new work schedule, I am trying to figure out how to craft and watch Monroe.  To be honest, it is hard.  I am really getting excited though about some of the things I am working on.  I will post pics as I finish up.

Monroe and I went looking for some frames for a few of those projects.  We weren't as successful as we had hoped, but we were able to find one.  We also stopped by Target to pick up a few grocery items.  While there, I came upon the cutest little outfit for Rosie.  It reminded me of Spring, and I just couldn't pass it up.  

I know that my child has a lot of clothing, but she is lacking one thing...warm church dresses!  She has sundresses coming out the wazoo!  But hardly a one long sleeved dress.  This is unfortunate, as we live in the coldest place on earth.   The stores all seem to have Springy Easter dresses and I just can't seem to find wintery dresses at all!  I told my mom my dilemma and being the amazing Nana that she is, I received a package within two days.  She is crazy:)  She called and said there is another on the way!  

Here are the two dresses she was able to find.  I think they are so cute and can't wait to try them on her.  I have a long sleeve black onesie to go under the red one.  Thanks, Mom!     

Tonight I made a HUGE pot of the much celebrated "Hot Mama" Chili!  It is so yummy and is perfect for a cold Friday evening in Chicago.  I sure wish the Heinrich's were here to share with us!  That was kind of our tradition in Florida.  Although, the cold nights were harder to come by.

Melissa told me that Sunday is supposed to get up into the 50's!  We are so excited.  Mark said he planned on being outside all day.  It is nuts how incredible it feels to be outside after being cooped up for so long.  It makes me feel better to know that those of you in Florida are going through some rough weather as well. 

I took a few pics of the girl this afternoon.  She was looking so much like her daddy today, it was uncanny!  Here are a few from our "photoshoot".  

The loves of my life 

Promised Pics

Here are a few more shots of the house.  I still haven't taken any of the guestroom or the basement.  Still works in progress.  

We were going to paint the bathroom upstairs, but I finally decided that we could make it work.  I ran and got a new shower curtain and now the red paint works just fine:)  

Here are a few of Monroe's room...