Mini Bunches: 10 Months

Two posts in one week?!?!  That’s just crazy talk.  So call me crazy.  Earlier this week you got to see what Mini B was up to during her ninth month of life.  Now, let’s take a look at what she was up to during her 10th month.

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One major change should be immediately obvious . . . hair!  She’s finally sporting a little more on top.  Still not enough to overcome being called a boy by strangers each and every time we go out, but we’re getting there.

And just like my last couple monthly updates, here’s a rundown of what our Mini Bunches was up to during her 10th month:

The month started out with Mini B’s first trip to Springdale Farm (which you may remember from our goat hoax).  Of course, we may have to reconsider that whole gettin-a-goat thing . . .

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Mini B is obsessed with tags.  And what’s amazing is that she knows the fake tags (like those on Taggies toys) from the real tags with words on them.  Not sure what it is about tags, but maybe it’s genetic?  I may or may not have had a similar obsession as a wee one.

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Her other big obsession?  Our iPhones.  She has a lot of people to talk to ya’ know.

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Mini B celebrated her first St. Patrick’s Day.  Hollah!

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And she also continued practicing for her American Idol audition.

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She took a break from exercising her pipes in order to take her first trip to the local children’s museum (Explore & More in East Aurora).

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Oh, did I mention that she learned to read?  Sunday mornings are her favorite . . .

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Mini B celebrated her first Easter.

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It was short lived.

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She also found her voice . . . this picture needs her added soundtrack of squeals and shrieks.

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And then of course Mini B continued to rack up her frequent flyer miles with a trip to Florida where she got some qt with Mr. Squishy . . .

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And they got along well except for one ill-fated fight over a water bottle.  Room full of toys and these two want the water bottle . . .

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Not only did Mini B get quality time with Mr. S, but she also got to see some friends from NY who were also enjoying a little fun in the sun.  Yep, Mr. & Mrs. Rockstar were rockin’ out with their own little fam . . .

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And guess who else made an appearance . . . chickie chickie yeah!

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Living the Florida life.  Not too shabby, eh?

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“The ocean is big.”  Those were his exact words.

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We had a great time with Mr. S, Uncle J, and Aunt Doodles–thanks guys!

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I seriously can’t get enough of these two.

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Once we wrapped things up on Amelia Island, it was time to head to New Smyrna Beach to visit Mini B’s other little cousin . . . but first, a stop at MO’s place (more on that next week):

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After a quick visit, it was time to move on.  Of course, with two babies in the car, we pretty much took the tortoise route.  When one baby slept, the other one cried.  Awesome.  Apparently we forgot to tell the kiddos that we were on vacation.  But either way, we made it and look who was ready for the paparazzi . . .

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She showed the new kids on the block how beach time is done.

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The first time touching the Atlantic Ocean for both of them . . .

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Mini B was lucky enough to celebrate her 10 month birthday with her two littlest cousins.  Such fun!

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Before we returned home, we took one last early morning walk on the beach.  Sigh.  Sleepy little beach town–how we love you!

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So there you have it.  Her 10th month.  St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Florida, cousins, sun, sand, and surf.  Good times.

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Time for a Bigger Chair

Mini B and I traveled to Dallas a couple weekends ago to visit Mr. Squishy.  As usual, she did well traveling although that might be our last solo trip for a while . . . I’m not so sure that my seat neighbors appreciated Mini B’s feet in their lap while I nursed her on the plane.  Sorry strangers.  But besides that, it was a great, albeit far too short, trip and we can’t wait to see Mr. Squishy again sometime soon.  Oh, and as a bonus, we had a longish layover in Boston, so Mini B got some quality time with Grammie.

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Now, I haven’t made it through all my pictures yet (I only just got through my pictures from our earlier trip to Dallas four months ago), but I thought it would be good to make a little comparison.  Here’s a shot from our first time meeting Mr. Squishy (this was before he earned his nickname), taken on September 22, 2012:

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And now here’s a shot from our recent trip, taken on January 21st, 2013 (almost 4 months exactly after the shot above).  And note–these kiddos are in the same chair (and I tried to pick a shot of them in similar positions):

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No one’s been missing any meals, eh?

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Hopefully Mr. Squishy doesn’t need that toe . . .

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And we have to thank Mr. Squishy for lending his clothes and toys to Mini B during our trip.  It was nice to not have to pack too much, and Mini B had so much fun testing out all of Mr. Squishy’s goods.

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Of course, Mini B would have been remiss if she didn’t share anything of hers . . .

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Mini B thought he looked quite dapper.

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Although she was a tad confused by the whole situation.

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Just a little taste of what Mr. Squishy might have looked like if he had been born a Mrs. Squishy . . .

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But fear not, this little guy is all man . . .

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And hopefully he won’t someday hate his aunt for posting pictures of him in a flowery jumpsuit.

Isn’t it crazy what a difference 4 months makes?

Yogurt Taste Test

Having a sister-in-law in the yogurt biz has its perks sometimes.  Usually they come in the form of coupons, but last week they came in the form of a little market analysis.  Which market?  The Greek one of course.  I mean, does anyone even eat regular yogurt anymore?  I didn’t think so.

So let’s get to it.  The test?  A taste test of 4 different Greek yogurts, all vanilla-flavored.  Set up by Bunches Junior herself.  First–the brands:

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And the set-up.

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We each got to taste while Mini B supervised.

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And then came up with our own rankings of our favorites.  I even attempted to identify which yogurt was which.  Let’s just say I got them all wrong.

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In the end, Wegman’s brand and Chobani were the clear favorites (sorry Junior!); Mr. B and I both picked Wegman’s as our clear winner.  And Mini B?  Well, she got her first taste of yogurt (just the Stonyfield organic one though–sorry Mini B!).

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She seemed a little unsure about the whole thing.

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But no worries.  She recovered quickly.

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And then decided she wanted a beer.  Too bad she’ll have to wait 20 1/2 more years for that.

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Even though Mini B’s first taste of yogurt didn’t go so great, we decided to try again.  This time with Stonyfield’s Plain full-fat yogurt.  And she loved it.

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Er, at least she loved rubbing it all over her face; I’m not sure how much was actually ingested.

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She mastered getting the spoon and yogurt into her mouth, but then also mastered spitting it right out.

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Oh the joys of Baby-Led Weaning!  We just had to sit by and watch patiently while she did her thing . . .

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So what do you think?  Ever done a yogurt taste test?  Who was your winner?

Happy Birthday Aunt Doodles!

Guess what today is?!?!  Aunt Doodles’ Birthday!  Hooray.  Huzzah.  Holla.  Kapow.

Mini Bunches is so excited for her Aunt’s birthday.  She really just can’t stop smiling about it . . .

Love you sis!  Hope you have an outstanding day.

The Ultimate Gallery Wall

As if my sister’s nursery wasn’t enough (see it here), she also outdid herself in the rest of her house.  I’ve already posted about her kitchen that we redid (more on that here and here), but I had to take some pics to show off her gallery wall in the bonus room.

I was seriously impressed.  Seriously.  Especially since, besides Mini B’s nursery, there is currently only one framed item hung in our house.  And we’ve lived here for over a year now.  Pathetic.  Entirely, completely pathetic.

Unfortunately I had less than two minutes to grab these shots since Mini B was not such a great napper while in Texas, but I think you get the jist.  In a few words: my sister rocks.  Oh, and so does my bro-in-law since it’s my understanding that he gave her the “encouragement” to finally get everything hung.

Okay, so there you have it.  Enough sister envy for a while?  Thought so.

Nursery Crash

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but this was my first week back at work and, well, I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster to which I think pretty much any working parent can relate.  But, instead of writing a whole woe-is-me post (and getting even weepier than I already am), I thought instead I’d share some shots of my sister’s nursery from our visit a couple weeks ago.

Now, this nursery is far, far superior to my own (see Mini B’s nursery here), so it’s a good thing that Mini B is too young right now to really notice.  Although, maybe her lack of sleep since returning from Texas is her own way of protesting the inferiority of her room?  Guess I’ll have to wait until she starts communicating with actual words instead of drool to really find out.  In the meantime, let’s share some rad nursery shots.  I haven’t actually cleared this with my sis, but I’m going to go ahead and assume I have the, well, the go ahead.

In a word, er, actually a short phrase, her nursery totally kicks my nursery’s butt.  And then some.

And not only was it super cute and all styled and everything, but it was also crazy organized.  And I thought I was anal (just kidding sis–love you!).

I loved that little bookshelf in the corner that was just oh-so-neat-and-tidy.  So much so that I took close-ups of each shelf.  Ya’ know, just in case I want to full on copy her later.

And the artwork was pretty amazing too.  The big pieces were picked out by my bro-in-law and I have to give him mad props for a job well done.

They’re both by artist Todd Goldman.  I liked them so much that I’ve actually bought one of his pieces from eBay (surprise Mr. Bunches!), but I haven’t received it yet.  Once I do and get it framed, you know I’ll post about it.

My sister also put together a mini gallery wall in the room . . .

A few of these are etsy finds, and one (the little ducky) is actually original art done by my sis herself.  Talented, eh?

I also loved the mirror above the changing table.

It was apparently a Homegoods find.  Seriously?!  I never have that kind of luck at Homegoods.

Another idea I’ll be borrowing stealing from my sis is her choice of a clothes hamper for her little guy.  Isn’t this bag adorable?

It’s from Snuggybaby on etsy.  Of course, the store is currently out of that pattern, so I’m in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment.  Grrr.

Her crib sheets are also beyond stylin’.  Don’t you love that we’re both chevron fans?

So there you have it: my nephew’s nursery.  Mini B was more than a little envious, but she hid it well while assisting me with the picture taking . . .

Oh, and just because I can’t show the nursery without showing the proud occupant of the nursery, here’s a shot of the little guy.

I mean come on!  Couldn’t you just eat him up?!?!

We’re Back . . .

. . . and better than ever!  Oh wait, not quite.  But more on the reasons for that later.  First, a few pictures: Mini B and I are back from our trip to TX where we got to meet this little fella':

Which meant that instead of trying to get one kiddo to smile for photos, my sis and I now had two kids we needed to coax smiles out of.  Clearly, we weren’t that successful . . .

But I’ve only just started going through the 800+ photos I took on our trip, so I have faith that there will at least be a few keepers in the bunch.

Oh, and why are we not doing better than ever?  Well, I probably should let Mini B answer that, but seeing as how she can’t talk and all, I’ll try to speak for her.  See, Mini B decided to start sleeping through the night in TX.  Yes, and I don’t mean the sleeping-through-the-night-for-a-breastfed-baby-definition-of-sleeping-through-the-night (which for those not in the know is only 4-5 hours).  Nope, I mean real sleeping through the night–11 glorious hours of sleep.  11 HOURS!!!  I was beside myself.  I’m not joking–literally there was another one of me and she was sitting beside me.  We were quite literally beside ourselves.  So what’s happened since returning from TX?  More blissful nights filled with 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep?  Oh heck no.  Because that would be too easy.  And everyone who has kids knows that there’s no such thing as easy.  No way, no how.  Nope.  Mini B decided to revert to her newborn ways of sleeping in only 2 hour chunks.  Awesome.  But we’ll get through it–everything’s a phase, right?!

Anyways, here’s one last shot of Mini B loving life in Texas . . .

Doodles Day

That’s right folks!  Guess what today is?!?!?!?!  It’s Doodles’ BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who’s Doodles you ask?  Why, my sister of course!  You know, the one from here and here and here and here and here and here (I could go on, but you get the point–apparently I’m a bit obsessed with my big sis).  And she’s turning 21 today!  Yep–the big TWENTY-ONE.  Okay, maybe not exactly 21, but pretty darn close.  And let’s face it, once you’re over 21, are there really any more exciting birthdays left?  So I think we’ll be celebrating her twenty-first for years to come . . . 

Hopefully her hubby will be doing something nice for her today since the Mr. and I are too far away to join in any festivities (Buffalo to Texas is not exactly a hop, skip, and a jump away).

Or maybe her kids will put on a little show for her?  You know, kind of a water and land combo show?

Maybe they’ll even get their synchronized swimming down . . .

Or even better yet, maybe they’ll just cuddle up for some birthday love.

Either way, I hope they all make it a great day for Doodles.  Happy Birthday Doodles!  Love, The Bunches.

Kitchen Remodel Vacation

How does that sound to you?  Awesome, right?  You’d totally pay for the experience, wouldn’t you?  Like one of those vacations where you really just go and work for someone else–like on a farm or in a winery or what have you.  Who came up with that brilliant idea?  OH wait–maybe it was the farmers, winery owners, etc. looking for some free labor . . . duh.  Anyways, I was out of town last week for work and luckily I got to spend the long weekend at my sister’s house remodeling her kitchen (you had to see that coming, right?).

So I don’t want to steal her thunder since I’m sure she’ll do a more detailed post on her blog, but here’s just a little of what we accomplished for less than $200.  (And please forgive the minimal pics–again, not trying to usurp my big sis.)

Where we started (this is what the kitchen looked like over a year ago when they bought the house):

So I think my mom might be the only one to disagree, but aren’t those cabinets just hurting your eyes?  It’s hard to tell in those pictures, but trust me–they had some serious orange-shininess happening!  Straight from the 90s (or maybe just straight from Texas since apparently my sister said every house they saw had cabinets like that)?    Anyways, ever since I first visited, I have considered it my own personal mission to refinish those cabinets.  I’m not kidding–I had dreams nightmares about those things!  It was a good thing that my sister agreed that they were awful (although I was so determined that I’m not entirely sure her opinion would have really mattered).  So over Labor Day weekend we transformed them.

First step?  Sanding.  Ugh.  We thought we could avoid the whole sanding issue by using Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet Transformations, but after doing some research it was clear that Rust-Oleum’s kit was not going to give us the solid white/cream look we were going for.  Apparently, Rustoleum’s Cabinet Transformations are a stain-based product, so to get a solid finish (we didn’t want to use a glaze for that weathered look), it would have taken at least four coats and even then it was unlikely that the color would have been exactly right.  Good thing we did some research, huh?  

Here are the cabinet doors all sanded and awaiting a coat of primer:

There were a LOT of cabinet doors.  And this picture doesn’t even capture all the drawers!  I’m getting tired again just looking at this.

Oh, and I took care of doing all the sanding outside.  It’s basically a pretty messy process.  Which is probably an understatement.

Anyways, once everything was sanded, then we primed ‘em up.  I’m pretty much a pro at priming now (remember that room of paneling in our new house?  Well, let’s just say it was a priming disaster, but more on that later).

Oh, and I forgot to take pics of all the steps, but here’s the primer we used.  It’s Zinsser’s Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Base Primer.  The paint guy at Lowe’s said it was the best (are they paid to say stuff like that?).

Image from here.

Once we applied one thin and even coat of primer, then we started with the paint.

We originally went with Lowe’s Olympic No-VOC Semi-Gloss paint color-matched to Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White (the trim in my sister’s house isn’t pure white, but more of a cream, so we wanted to match it and Cloud White was the closest paint chip we could find).  So we painted the cabinet doors and the cabinets themselves.  Then we realized that the color was wrong.  It wasn’t color-matched perfectly, and so it was WAY TOO WHITE!  Ack.  So we stopped.  Breathed.  Had a snack.  And decided to pick a new color and send out my brother-in-law to Sherwin Williams.  New color?  Sherwin Williams’ Creamy.  Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Sorry about the small swatch, but that’s apparently as big as SW shows on their site.  Image from here.

And we just wanted the Harmony paint (Sherwin Williams’ no-VOC brand).  Image from here.

But since we weren’t the ones at the paint store, it ended up that Josh got up-sold.  To Sherwin Williams ProClassic in Semi Gloss–a paint specifically made for cabinets and trim.

Image from here.  It was actually a good decision–the paint levels to a really smooth finish, so it ended up looking great.  We didn’t have any brush strokes or anything!

So now that we had all the right paint, it was, well, back to painting.

And painting . . .

We were tired.  Very, very tired.

But don’t they look great?

My sister was totally pumped!  It was like she got a whole new kitchen.

Once we let everything dry for a while (probably not long enough, but I had a flight home to catch and I was getting impatient–I wanted to see what it all looked like put together), we put the cabinet doors back up.  And then we decided to add hardware to match the rest of my sister’s home (it’s all oil-rubbed bronze).  So off to Lowe’s again for the 825th time.  But the hardware really made a difference:

These pics were taken at night, so they read a little darker/creamier than in real life.

We weren’t able to get all the drawer pulls in before I left, so I don’t have any completed pics.  For that, you’ll just have to keep checking my sister’s blog for final reveal photos.

Overall, though, it was hard, but totally worth it!!!  We loved the result.  And who knows . . . maybe the Bunches’ kitchen will be next . . .

Following in Our Footsteps

As I mentioned earlier this week (when I explained our foolish drive through Irene), we not only got to spend time with my side of the family (at Chloe and Brandon’s wedding) during our short trip, but we also got to hang out with Mr. Bunches’ side.  And who did we get to see?!  Why Bunches Junior herself!

Of course, the visit was last weekend, so obviously there wasn’t snow on the ground.  Duh.

But we got to crash her Boston apartment, and for the last time!  See Junior just loves us soooooo much, that she’s decided to follow in our footsteps and make her own pilgrimage to New York (closer to NYC, but still, NY state).  So we said goodbye to her cute Boston apartment (and her cute self).  And since I was there, I decided to try doing a little mini-apartment crashing, blog-style (and I also got in some more manual camera practice since taking my online photography class).  So here are just a few of my favorite moments in Kara’s apartment . . .

Love the sweet little art that she has hidden everywhere.

And I love this chair/pillow combo.  Especially with all that light pouring in the windows.

And how about this homage to my favorite character of all?  Chunk!!  Actually, Chunk is famous–she was the bell of the ball at the 20th Annual Del Mar Pug Parade . . . you can check out a pic of her chunkness here.

And one of the sweetest things about Junior’s place is all the amazing scrapbooks that she and her boyfriend have made for each other.  They are scrapbooking fiends those two!

The Mr. was loving looking through them . . . who knows?  Maybe he’ll get into the act and make me one?   

Alright–who are we kidding?  If anyone’s going to make a scrapbook, it’ll probably be me.  But now I know that the Mr. will love it!

Best of luck on your move Junior!  We love you!

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