Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Remembering Charlie || A Post By Matt

(Last night we said goodbye to our beloved Charlie. Today's post is brought to you by Matt.)
The short story on my dog Charlie.  I was a law student at Tulane University in 2005.  On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans where Tulane is located.  Shortly before the highways were closed down, myself and a few friends were able to leave the city and make our way to Atlanta.  After the storm, we were informed that we were not allowed to return to the city that semester due to the destruction.  Unlike New Orleans, I was very lucky and spent that semester at Wake Forest before being allowed to return to New Orleans in January of 2006. However, you may recall the photos of the spray painted "X" on front doors of many homes in the city.  These tags would signal to first responders whether someone or something was in the house, including animals left behind by their owners.   In the middle of April 2006, a classmate asked me if I wanted a white lab puppy.  She and her boyfriend were sheltering a litter of 10 puppies that were rescued by ARNO after the storm.  ARNO stands for "Animal Rescue New Orleans".  Although finals were gearing up, I said yes, went to her house and found 9 white lab puppies raising hell in her living room.  I asked where the 10th puppy was and was directed to look under the couch where I found the alpha puppy sound asleep.  He was exactly my sort of speed.  His name was Zeus.  What is amazing is that he and his litter were born on February 28, 2006, which was Mardi Gras.  While living in New Orleans, I lived in a condo on St. Charles Avenue which is one of the historic roads and parade routes for Mardi Gras. Zeus was a good name, but I gave him a better one.  I re-named him St. Charles, Charlie for short.  He was my sidekick for nearly 4 years before we met Christina, which is when he became our "Fur Baby" (which to this day he and I object to that name) and soon thereafter he became the protector of my pregnant wife and ultimately my kids.  Many nights he would sleep between their rooms until they fell asleep when he would then return to my side of the bed.  He helped the kids clear their plates and always served as a large furry jungle gym for them to crawl all over.  Such a loving and laid back friend.  He was the best dog ever and I will miss him terribly.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Master Bathroom Renovation | The Tub

Coming in hot with part 3 of our master renovation -- the tub! I am a huge bath person so the tub renovation was super important to me. During our home inspection I was disappointed to learn there were several cracks around the tub which made it unusable. However, a broken tub meant a brand new tub was in our future. So we said goodbye to the swimming pool and hello to the most gorgeous freestanding tub!

Okay, a few BEFORE photos...
How massive is that tub?! I think my entire family could fit in it.
Once we decided to rip out the tub I immediately started tub shopping! At first I was worried that a freestanding tub wouldn't be as comfortable to sit in as my old whirlpool tub. So one day on my lunch break I went to a popular bathroom showroom in Charlotte and sat in every. single. tub. I was amazed at how much MORE comfortable the freestanding tub was! I didn't feel like I was sliding to the center and the tub walls came up so much higher which allowed me to rest my neck over the side more comfortably! I picked out a few tubs I loved and when I received the pricing I about fell out of my chair.
So I decided to shop around online for the tubs I liked from the showroom and guess what? Lowes had one of my favorites, the Jacuzzi Primo Acrylic Oval Freestanding Tub, for 1/3 of the price!!! Again, I purchased the tub online for delivery, using a 20% off coupon (purchased for $1.99 on eBay) and received a check in the mail for 5% cash back just for ordering through ebates!
Demo complete! Time to tile and rebuild the walls. So this was a big decision that I agonized over. I didn't think wall tile would fit in to this space so it was between beadboard, plain drywall or picture frame moulding. Finally after falling in love with this pin, this pin and this pin my mind was made up completely to go with picture frame moulding!
I am so obsessed with my new tub and use it almost every single night to soak in!
I also need to give a shout out to my favorite tub accessory, my Tub Caddy, for all of the Netflix + wine nights it has allowed me to have.

Alright, alright...real life...just trying to make sure no one poops in my tub...
Other Master Bathroom Renovation Posts: The Tile | The Shower


Monday, August 28, 2017

Weekend Rewind || Tom's 1st Hair Cut & Eye Update

I am in denial that our summer weekends are dwindling. I am going to miss pool days, shorts & tank tops, Popsicles and glasses of rosé as the cooler temps arrive. We've already seen a preview of fall this past week with a few cool days and as enjoyable as they are I am just not ready! Anyway, a few scenes from our weekend...
Friday morning Thomas had an eye appointment. It was a long one but we were lucky that our doctor was able to dilate his eyes over his contacts so we didn't have the added stress of removing and inserting his contacts during the exam (that usually tacks on an additional hour at least). Dr. D did a thorough exam and gave him an A+ in alignment (hallelujah for continued strabismus surgery success) and shocked us both when he informed us that his contact prescription did not need to be changed. This was his first appointment ever that his vision hadn't changed. It's not necessarily a good or a bad thing because we aren't 100% positive what his current vision even in. Our doctor explained that oftentimes aphakic kids (kids that have had their eye lens surgically removed) learn to navigate their world with terrible vision so it appears they can see well from our perspective when in reality it's all they know! Anywaaaaaay, we also received some big news that Thomas is now eligible for his next surgery -- the Intraocular Lens (IOL) implant. Now that his eyes have reached their full maturity in size (fun fact: eyes reach full adult size at 2 years of age) we need to be thinking about having the permanent lens surgically implanted within a year. After this surgery he will still need contacts but will then have the option for glasses too.
During our visit we also gave our doctor a gift -- a bow tie (his favorite accessory) and a scrapbook featuring Tom's eye journey since he's been under his care. He loved this so much and thought it was the most thoughtful gift ever. But what we didn't expect was his idea to show the book to his patients who show up in his office with a newborn baby scared to learn all about their child's cataract diagnosis. He can flip through the pages with them to ease their fears and show them what an extremely successful outcome looks like and all the steps and procedures along the way (patching, contacts, surgeries, recoveries, etc.). For readers stumbling on this page looking for cataract answers and support, here is a digital version!
On Friday evening we joined our friends, the Edwards (Caroline's best friend Austin), and a few other families, for a super fun pizza & pool play date. The kids splashed around for hours and ate their weight in pizza before crashing hard into bed.
Early Saturday morning we visited Matt's office to grab some files before stopping for cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The kids had a blast running through the halls, climbing the reception desk and nosing around a few of the attorney offices (sorry Jen & Rachel). And this is why they rarely get to visit during business hours.
 I see you, stack of lunch boxes that haven't found their way home!!!!
Sunglasses ($12) | Top ($22) | Shorts ($17)

Side note: I am obsessed with these $12 sunglasses and have received so many compliments on this embroidered top that is 40% off!

Later that morning our longtime handyman, Hector, arrived to make my to-do list dreams come true. He fixed and replaced so many things around the house that we haven't had time to address. Matt is one hell of a lawyer but definitely does not pretend to be a handyman -- especially when it comes to wires! Anyway, Hector repaired our broken garbage disposal, replaced all the weather stripping in the house, removed a super old door chime and a few broken fire detectors then patched & painted the holes in the walls, repaired our broken gate in the backyard, fixed our front door (it's been jammed shut and we couldn't open it) and fixed the kids' bathroom ceiling water damage from a recent roof leak. He is amazing!
The yellowed fire detectors looked like alien spaceships to me. Since we've moved in these things have creeped me out and I couldn't have been happier to say goodbye to them!

Meanwhile, Caroline gave Thomas makeup lessons to distract him from interrupting allll the projects around the house.
After naps we joined the Samuelsons at McKinsey's parents' house for another pizza + pool play date! McKinsey's parents just finished a major pool renovation and had us over to enjoy the new pool! We also got to see just how NOT scared of the pool Thomas is. He is so wild and fearless.

On Sunday we took Thomas to get his first hair cut!
We asked Caroline if she wanted to get hers cut too but she felt strongly against it (& daddy wasn't quite ready either). However, Tom did fantastic and was hilarious the entire appointment. He was so excited about sitting in an airplane that he didn't even notice he got a trim. 
He looks so dang cute I can hardly stand it!
Last stop of the weekend was Cowfish at Caroline's request. She is so obsessed. And because both kids ate well and behaved themselves they cashed in (literally) on my penny bribe for the fountain!

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