Before and After: Our First Remodel

30 March 2016

Remember once upon a time when we bought a house with two of my brothers and remodeled it? Maybe you noticed that we moved out of it, and I never mentioned it on the blog again? A couple readers (literally two) have asked to see pictures of that effort. Here I go channeling my inner Joanna Gaines and making good. These are some of the original listing photos followed by our listing photos after the remodel.


Backyard Before
Backyard After

 Living Before

Living After

Bedroom Before
Bedroom After
Guest Bath Before
This is actually the after pics of the Master Bath...but you get the idea:
Kitchen Before
Kitchen After

Sigh. That felt good

We are elbow deep in our second remodel project right now, and it hasn't gone as smoothly and we're learning a lot. Like I've spent the last month learning how to solo parent at my folk's place while Jacob redoes the sewer line. I've been a real sport about it.

Happy Wednesday! Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Follow the Little Rhodes

28 March 2016

In another attempt to break my blogging silence: we'll go with the old fashioned what the 4 year old and 2 year old have been dishing out lately.

At dinner when Jacob leaned in to tell little Jake something:

Jake: Dad, you're throwing beer smell in my face.

After Jake overheard me saying something would be a "life saver," he agreed:

Jake: Yeah...Such a light saber. 
Lucy June, say Everybody.


Lucy June, say Everybody.

"All de buddies"

Jake: Mom, what's R2D2 + C3PO?

The sewer line backed up, and Jacob said he was going to check the clean out. Jake hopped off his stool and ran to his room. He came back with a mask and snorkel.

Lucy June, what's your bday?

"Octumble twenty seconds"

Lucy June, what's your bday?

"October two toesies"

After I told him that a certain health food fed the "good guys in his body":

Jake: Mom! There's nothing in my body except blood and snot!

While sitting in the overflow room at Mass on Easter Sunday, Jake turned to me and whispered: "Mama, I love watching this TV show at Mass."
After we finished eating at a restaurant, I packed up the diaper bag, fished out my keys, slung the bag over my shoulder, hiked up my 25 pound six-month-old, and started the long walk to the car. Lucy June pounded both fists in the air and started yelling: 

"Go Mama Go! Go Mama Go!"
Overheard while Jake was playing in the bathtub:

Jake: Better settle in for the winter. You're not dead till you're warm and dead.

Lucy June, say Popsicle

Lucy June, say Amen
"I'm a man"

A Third Baby's First Week of Life

03 March 2016

My, if it hasn't been a few months of totally unexplained if entirely explainable absence.

Three kids.

Three kids has me whooped. I'm pretty sure our fourth kid will be an accident.

We're gonna dive right in with a catch up post just in case little Romie ever wanders through the archives and asks if he had an infancy.

You did, Romes, a really jolly one.

Roman is remarkably good-natured. As I'm lugging all 22 pounds of him from room to room while I chastise a four year old and potty-train a two year old (her choice not mine), sometimes I remember to look into his face. He looks at me so adoringly. It kinda floors me. I do my best to stop and love those moments, but I'm not very good at it.

Ok. Here we go. Roman's first week of life.

When his brother and sister came to visit him in the hospital the first time, I was holding him in my lap, and when he heard their voices, he craned his head back and forth and his eyes searched the entire room. Meanwhile they were beelining for him: Lucy June couldn't contain her glee when she first saw him. It was magical.

I'd never seen one of my newborns respond to voices so obviously.

He came just a little bit early - earlier than all the other kids. I had scheduled a loan closing on Tuesday, but he was born on Monday. Jacob went to the appointment and while he was signing a million documents I was watching all three kids by myself in the hospital room. With some help from Winnie the Pooh and Netflix Too, it went remarkably well. It was stressful though. I held my breath and waited for everything to devolve for the entire two hours.

Roman's early life has had many of those moments. Darker moments. Moments where his stubborn mother doesn't seek out the help she needs and puts too much on her plate until her stress and anxiety start to leak out all over her house and into her relationships.

I couldn't skip the closing even though I'd had a baby, so I was scheduled to sign my name a million times on Wednesday right before we planned to take two day old Roman to have his bilirubin checked. So I would go sift through papers for twenty minutes and then we'd take the baby to the pediatrician. I was not excited about this, but it would be OK. We could do it. It would be fine.

Then Lucy June fell off the top bunk. Right onto her head. My was it horrible. It started swelling immediately, and we were just a few minutes from leaving for the closing/pediatrician outing, so we figured we'd muscle through the closing and then get some eyes on the little girl's head at the doctor's office.

Jacob dropped me off at the closing, while he drove around the block a few times with the kiddos. Lucy was unhappy, but lucid with a lump. I shuffled into a swanky office and sat down in a leather chair at a conference table and signed and signed. I felt like such a body - a fragile body in a room designed for pantsuits. Then there was a knock on the door. It was Jacob carrying Lucy June, and both of them were covered in vomit.

So we expedited the pediatrician visit. We piled in the car. The newborn was crying, everything reeked of vomit, I was hyperventilating.

At the pediatrician's office I tried to settle the baby down and feed him in the newborn area. The triage nurse who was checking on our probably-concussed daughter came over to ask if a suspicious triangle-shaped indentation on Lucy June's forehead was normal. Through tears I shook my head that I couldn't tell. Had she fallen on a lego? She did have a widow's peak. Maybe that was it? The triage nurse patted my shoulder, told me we would probably need to have some imaging done on her, and left me to my tears and my newborn.

Things quickly got better. By the time we saw the doctor, Lucy June was playing with toys and sporting her black eye like a clumsy champion and was pretty much her normal self. He told us to go home and call if she vomited some more.
Jacob had a huge job starting the next day that he couldn't reschedule. So my mom descended on our house like an angel of mercy and took care of everything. My friends picked up Jake for playdates. Lucy June and her shiner hung out with my mom. I nursed my baby and my very bruised postpartum tailbone.

Then it was Sunday - Jacob's day off - and the toilet backed up into the bathtub, so Jacob got to spend the day digging a hole in the backyard to reveal a broken sewer line.
And that officially rounded out the baby's first week of life.

I don't write these things to complain or to elicit a rush of combox sympathy. I write them because I'll probably want to remember them.

Some of it is funny. Some not so funny. I want to write it down. I need me some catharsis or something.

Or probably should remember them. There's more craziness to add to this. This was just week one.

Life is exhausting right now.
But I'm learning how to settle into good moments.
Also, these are all pics from back in September. Roman now looks like this:
Perpetually flanked by siblings.

And like this when sausaged into a size newborn baptismal gown.
Working Caption: Husband leaves room for the Holy Spirit at Baptism

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