Snippets: Big Projects, Growing Up, and A Big Announcement!

It has been a while since I’ve done a Snippets post here so I figured I’d update everybody on a few fun life events going on around House Macheesmo these days!

For starters…

Big Summer Project!

This summer we decided to embark on a huge front yard renovation. We live in the city and useable space is at a premium, especially now that we have a kiddo. Our front yard wasn’t really our style when we bought the house and also wasn’t really useable. We couldn’t hang out on it and our Dude couldn’t play out in it because it was just rocks, weeds, and some flowers.

See what I mean?!

yard1

We got a local design company to come in and figure out a way to make it more usable for us. We ended up hiring them to do some of the work, but most of the manual labor I decided to do myself to save money.

For starters, me and a few able-bodied friends completely demolitioned the yard. We took out three huge dumpsters of rock, concrete, dirt, and junk in an effort to get the yard back to a level, dirt yard.

This photo is really only part way through the demolition!

yard2

I get a little obsessed with projects like this and actually really love diving in and learning pieces. The big piece I had to learn from this one was the irrigation. I had to completely re-do the irrigation in the front yard from the water main to the new zones for the yard.

It involved digging trenches and planning for each zone. It wasn’t actually as hard as I thought it would be, but did require a lot of weekend hours!

yard3

The irrigation was probably the biggest savings. We saved thousands of dollars over the quoted price by doing this piece ourselves because the raw materials are actually really cheap. It’s just the labor that’s expensive!

Okay, the next part I didn’t feel comfortable with which was concrete and stone work. We hired someone to come in and do this and it turned out really nice. I did however lay the 3×3 stone patio myself, which was surprisingly hard to get level!

yard4

After that, it was just picking out plants, laying some sod, putting together a garden box and a bench, and finishing the irrigation!

The whole deal took about 3 months to complete and took many of my weekend hours. We are so happy with how it turned out though. Definitely my biggest house project to date!

yard5

Getting Big

While all of this was happening, it was becoming clear that we no longer were raising a baby, but instead raising an opinionated, fun, and energetic toddler.

He is almost 20 months old now and has developed quite the personality!

popsiclebiz

One interesting thing about this dude is that we have the opposite problem that I think many parents have. Namely, when it comes to screen time, he couldn’t be less interested. He doesn’t care about TV, cartoons, or anything like that. In general, we thought this was a good thing, until we took him on a cross country plane ride.

I desperately wished that he would’ve just wanted to sit and watch something, but instead it was GO GO GO.

So, I’m trying to teach him that TV is awesome (in small doses). Most recently, I actually got him to sit and watch 20 minutes of Frozen by creating a drive in movie setup. This was a big parenting win for me!

Also, how cute is that?

Driveinmovie

One thing that has rapidly advanced along with his fun, go-get-em personality is tantrums. When the dude hits a wall, he hits it hard. He’ll just lay down in the middle of anything (like a public Twister game) and flip out for 5-10 minutes.

He feels all the feelings!

tantrummode

In general though, this spring and summer have been a complete delight. These last months have definitely been, so far, the most fun for me in terms of parenting.

Big Announcement

Speaking of parenting, I think this picture says all you need to know:

HibabyBaby

And yes, I got permission to post a picture of my wife in a bathing suit on the Internet. She’s a trooper!

But yep, we are expecting a little baby GIRL in December of this year. That will put us in the “Two Under Two” camp.

What could go wrong?!

30 comments on “Snippets: Big Projects, Growing Up, and A Big Announcement!

  1. Congratulations!! Adding a second is hard, but watching the love between siblings grow is priceless.

  2. Congratulations! Also I’d like to recommend the Hapoy Kids app. It pulls lots of different nursery rhyme videos from YouTube into one place. My two year old loves it. The songs are short which helps. He turns it on then plays with the songs in the background.

  3. Congratulations!! I lived through “three under 4″…worth every single minute of it, of course they are now 33, 32, and soon to be 31 so time may have smoothed some of the rough edges – LOL Enjoy every minute, it sounds like you already are!! <3

  4. There were 5 of us on 6 years. As we grew up and found our own paths, we couldn’t be closer. Family vacations, holidays and gatherings would be aweful without them.

  5. Great news and great photos! I will be checking out that landscaping project later this month.

  6. Congratulations!!! My Hubby and I have 8 children ages 15-9 months. It’s a blast and chaotic all at the same time! I’ve been there with two under two, three under three,… Have a blast! :)

  7. Such wonderful News! The little guy sure is a cutie, and I’ll bet he is going to be the best big brother ever!
    And have to say, the yard looks awesome!!!

  8. Really adorable son. Cuteness x 2 has to be good. Your yard looks great–well worth the time and effort, and good to get it over with, eh. (Never seen such a wide space between sidewalk and street.) Regarding tv, I was ever so determined not to let my son watch tv. Alas, DH did not agree. I finally caved when DS was 3. Must admit, when I realized what a great distraction it was, I went a little overboard relying on it as a babysitter. Interestingly, when DS started first grade, and thus first year of full time school, he pretty much gave up on tv. Realized it wasn’t a priority in his now limited free time. Toys and books rule. Hasn’t been a tv fan since. Software developer now. Kids change so quickly; the temper tantrums will pass. Now, have to go read the recipes!

  9. Congrats! Two is so fun, hard and rewarding! We have a 17 month old and a 3 month old and it’s a blast! (A messy, chaotic, sometimes unorganized blast, but a blast nonetheless). Have so much fun!

  10. Congratulations to you and your family!! So excited for the girl that will be joining your wonderful family.

  11. Congratulations! T sure is growing fast :-) Look forward to the updates & stories. Oh, & please tell your wife she looks gorgeous in a bikini. I don’t have kids & probably won’t at this point, but I’d NEVER look that good in a bikini.
    Love to you all xoxo

  12. I’m a besotted grandma of a girl, turning two in a few days (October 26). She was a 29 week preemie and she has far exceeded everyone’s expectations. At this point, you would never suspect she was so early. Actually, I’m guessing her actual due date was close to when your son was born. I am her primary caregiver while her parents work, so we have major bonding time. Congrats on the new baby. My two children, now 28 and 26, are almost exactly two years apart, so I now exactly what you will be facing. Actually, I think two years is a perfect age gap. Good luck and thanks for all your hard work.

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