My State of the Barn Address

Corgan- 14.5 months
It feels like Corgan has aged months in just a few weeks. He seems to have outgrown most of his 12 month clothes, he's barely fitting in his size 4 shoes, and he actually has hair that has to be brushed a little sometimes. He is such a climber, and has finally figured out how to climb off of high places (like the couch) feet first to avoid falling head first. At this point, every little bump on the head that we can avoid adds up. He tries to repeat the sounds of any easy word that you ask, and is communicating pretty well. He says lots of small words (he's recently added "nana" for banana, "wawa" for water, something that sounds like "gabba gabba" for Yo Gabba Gabba!) and is signing up a storm (his most recent phrase and favorite activity is "brush teeth"). He loves to declare that something is "done" (like a phone conversation). He seems to be getting the concept of processes like sitting down on the bath mat if he wants to brush his teeth, or shaking the oatmeal packet, pointing to the microwave to tell me to cook the water, and getting a bowl if he wants oatmeal, or picking out a dvd, opening the container, taking out the dvd, pushing the open button on the dvd player, putting the dvd in, and finding the remote when he wants to watch a movie (and I wonder how all of our dvds seem to get scratches on them?). He still loves to push things around (like his play vaccuum, his big metal tonka truck, and Annabelle's stroller with a remote control, book, shoe, or whatever in it. He loves to wear shoes and loves to go (and say) "bye-bye". He pushes Annabelle away if she gets too close to his food, and hasn't quite figured out the concept of sharing yet. Watching Corgan and Belle play together and laughing hysterically (especially when they're chasing each other) is one of the most enjoyable things in my life so far. Corgan is really becoming less "baby" and more "little boy" every day!

Annabelle- 2 years and 9 months (almost)
Belle is such a little helper. She's always talking about being "grown up" and a "big girl", and is very quick to correct you if you call her "baby". Any potty accidents are pretty much a thing of the past. She still sleeps with a pull-up on, but usually wakes up from naps totally dry (and sometimes, though rarely, at night too). She seems to really enjoy spending time with adults as much as (and sometimes more than) kids, once she warms up to them. She loves to show off her "cool tricks", which are usually jumping off of something high or doing some other sort of gymnastical trick. If you call her a name or nickname that isn't "Annabelle", she'll usually correct you by saying "I'm Annabelle Claire Donald!" She has been calling me "Ta" and Keith "Pa" lately when she's in a silly mood. She still loves Dora, Baby Einstein's Baby Noah, and Finding Nemo, and would watch all 3 24/7 if you'd let her. She still takes really good naps in the afternoons (usually 3-4 hours long), and is usually good about bedtime. Her vocabulary amazes me! She still says "d" for the "g" sound ("Drammy" instead of "Grammy") and substitutes a couple other sounds like that, but I can usually tell what she's saying (and it seems like most adults are able to figure it out too). She's been sleeping on the futon for a couple of months now, and hasn't fallen off yet (knock on wood) which kinda surprises me because she ends up in some crazy positions sometimes. She gets up in the morning and comes in to get us. She's a big helper with Corgan and is usually very good about sharing her food and drink with him. Her go-to foods are apple oatmeal ("apple hot cereal", the ONLY flavor she'll even try), PB&J (which she has to help make herself), dried cranberries, blueberries, yogurt, waffles (frozen or cooked), and chicken noodle soup. All other things she might like one time, then refuse to eat them the next (including corn, peas, chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, fruit cups, and fish sticks). She loves pink, and loves dressing up all girly with full accessories, but she also loves being a "rockstar" and playing with bugs and reptiles. She's full of stubbornness, but also full of love. She loves to give us random kisses, and says "I love you" or "I miss you when you're gone" SOOO often! She's also very into saying that someone or something is her "best " lately ("Elena is my best baby", "Jerry is my best kitty"). She's got such a strong personality at such a young age, and I love it!

The Barn
We finally officially fired our deadbeat contractor last Thursday! It felt SO good and like such a relief to know that we were done with him (as a contractor anyway... we'll see what happens legally later)! Over the past couple of months, I've discovered mountains of flat out lies that he's told us, money that he has not only mismanaged but used on other jobs, and then there's the fact that he's not even a licensed general contractor! I've been super busy getting ramped up to take over as owner-builder, which basically means that I'm the contractor, but I'm not licensed. I'm having to get all of the permits put in my name, make the necessary updates to the permits (one of them is something that the contractor said that he had done and actually charged us an arm and leg for, but it wasn't even done!), will have to schedule all inspections, getting estimates from new subcontractors, oversee the work that is being done and coordinate with our independent inspector (who has been a life saver in this whole mess!) to make sure that everything is done correctly, scheduling subcontractors, and even doing some of the work myself (painting, keeping the worksite clean, etc.). It's going to be a lot of work, but knowing that I actually have control instead of being at the mercy of some no-good contractor to get things done makes me feel 100 times better. I currently have all of the papers that I need to get the permits reissued in my name, but am waiting on one last update to avoid having to pay additional fees for changes. There are so many rules to know in order to get things done (which is why we had a contractor), but the building department has been surprisingly helpful so far, so hopefully things will keep going that way. If things go well, we should have a framing inspection and be ready for a pre-lath (pre-drywall) inspection by the end of next week. Then it's insulation, drywall, and we're on our way to moving in before too long (my estimate is that we'll be in the first rooms around early January).

My "Loser" Status
This morning I actually hit my goal weight of 155.0! My metabolism rate must really be in full-steam-ahead mode because I haven't been able to work out for over a week due to my messed up back, but I've continued to lose weight. I haven't been eating a strict Weight Watchers diet, but have continued my new eating habits (with a few "bad-ish" treats thrown in every now and then). I'm hoping that my back is ready to hit the gym again next week because mentally I'm so ready to be back to exercising (and especially running and the boxametrics class!) and I am hoping to hit the tanita on the 3 month anniversary of starting the biggest loser contest. Although I've met my weight loss goal, I'm planning to continue with the same lifestyle that I've developed and assume that the weight will keep dropping. We'll see. :)


ljkolumbus said...

Wow, so glad that you are one "take charge" girl (woman)!! I know you will do a great job with the rest of the construction.. The kids are doing so great and it's so fun to talk to Belle on the phone, and I do understand most of what she's saying .. they are so precious. I love it when talking with Corgan and he says "done" and is off and running.. he is all boy that's for sure.. See you all in a couple weeks!

Angelle said...

You are going to be SO busy. I know you can do it! I love your update on your kids too. They are so big now. Good luck keeping it all together.