its because you make me laugh, honey.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Brandon has been sneaking into my cameras, ejecting the memory cards and shoving them into his deer cam for the past few weeks.  For those of you that don't have closets, and basements, and garages filled with assorted camo and deer skinning devices, let me inform you that this weekend starts archery season.

I recently found the following photo on my camera memory card and busted up laughing so loud that Bullet ran in from the other room to see what was so hilarious.

So the moral of this little tale is this:   honey, I love you, but if you keep trying to steal my SD cards - you might have some blog posts featuring your handsome face -up close with your one eye blurred out in a creepy zombie fashion - coming to you.

Labor day 2011

In following with Labor Day traditions of the past, our family headed up to Allegheny National Forest to spend the weekend with our husband&wife duo:  the Kochs.  We've been spending Labor day with them at their hunting/fishing camp for a few years and now it was time to introduce Booboo to the fun.  

He slept peacefully for the first hour or so of the trip

....And then mysteriously awoke when we pulled into our favorite little town (and past home) of Punxsutawney, PA.  B and I lived there together in the smallest imaginable apartment (truly, I've lived in apartments twice its size in Brooklyn!) for about a year.  It was before pets and babies and even before being husband& despite the fact that the town is filled with over-sized statues of groundhogs on every corner, it was a time that holds a little sweet spot in our hearts.  Since Booboo was up, we stopped at one of our breakfast spots from days gone by.  

After a yummy Punsxy breakfast, we finally made it to camp after only a few hundred thousand nursery rhymes later.  Brandon and I are both impressed with the amount nursery rhymes I can remember from childhood.  It's seriously impressive; some of our go to favorites include:
Down by the bay
Oh, Mr. Sun
John Jacob Jingle Heimer Smith
and any counting song because they last a long time (like The Ants go Marching and Knick Knack PaddyWhack)

The song I stay away from is Old McDonald because its seriously exhausting to sing all of those animal noises and is uber-annoying to anyone else in the car.  Although, it is one of Grey's favs so it makes its appearance occasionally.

We finally arrived at camp and booboo was scooped up by his Uncle Jonny and taken for a walk in the woods almost immediately.  After awhile, we made use of the scorching sun and headed to the river to float down on inner tubes.  We dont' have any pics documenting this, because I've already had horrible luck with my camera meeting water and we're not going there again.  So, you can imagine our group floating down the river, while Booboo dangles over the side of Dadda's tube and screams joyfully and splashes the water.  He had a total blast and was hooting and chanting "go! go! go!" as we bounced along the teeny rapids.  Uncle Jonny had booboo laughing as he got dunked 100 times by Grey pushing his head underwater, Dadda and booboo tipped over (under water) once (both were fine and laughing), and almost everyone lost their sandals while Ninny grabbed them like a soccer goalie about 40 feet upstream.  

The evening consisted of yummy dinner, lots of cornhole for the boys and a relatively early bed time for mumma and booboo.  It was a relaxing, fun, catching-up kind of Labor Day -- exactly what we all needed.  

On Sunday, we made the trek west to our old house in Erie to pick up a few straggling items and clean up a bit.  Our old house was so empty and it was a little sad to be living it.  It seemed like Grey vaguely remembers it, because he would point to the basement and say "Alllp, Allp" (which is what he thinks is the noise cats make).  Dadda and booboo weeded the flowerbeds while I ran the vaccuum and cleaned the bathrooms.  That was probably one of the last times our whole human family will be in the house and it was a little bittersweet.

sorry - I don't know what that face is about
So then we had a three hour drive back to our current house.  It was painful.  Booboo was not having it - and by it, I mean being strapped in the backseat and not being able to run/jump/climb/fall on anything.  So we resorted to more nursery rhymes, playing with dadda's work keys (that have the bungey cords), and eating granola bars with chocolate in them

It was a very long trip home, but we made it and picked up Bully and all was well again in Booboo land.  Thanks for the fun Labor day (as always!) Kochs and Confers:)  

The master bedroom update

Thursday, September 22, 2011

As mentioned in an earlier post, our first projects were to get the bedrooms painted and together so we could get back to normal sleep habits in the studer family.  Well, as always, I don't just make it easy; hey, I know what I like!  So I had Brandon paint over the already super light green walls with about two shades darker of light green (hah!  I'm the worst!!).  In the pic below, I was a little late on getting the "before" pic, so you can see the original green shade toward the bottom of the walls.  At this point, B was already setting up the laser-level to prepare for step2 of the process.

Once the laser level marked off the point that I wanted Brandon and Rudy to install a chair rail, we got to painting the bottom section of the room a dark green.  I stained the chair rail and Brandon and Rudy put it up with almost no trouble since we had the level laser (seriously, we love that thing - thank you, Uncle Matt for letting us borrow it!)  

And now our room looks like this:

It is a pretty big change from our bedroom in the our last house which was pale blue.  The green colors suit us well though, especially my husband since it feels sort of cabin-y in there.  It has turned out to be really cozy and sleep conducive.  Why the chair rail in the bedroom?  Really no other reason except that I love the way the look, especially with differing colors above and below them.

We also took the light green all the way into our master bathroom and transformed it from a boring bathroom with brown accents:

And updated it to a green and brown bathroom by painting the walls, adding some bath accessories, and a new shower curtain.  

 At some point, our master bath will need an overhaul (can you believe the brown sink counter & brown built-in shower!?)  But until we have the money and time for a project like that - we knew we had to work with what we had and choose paint colors that would complement it as best as possible.  Since the bathroom has been painted, we feel a lot better and the brown fixtures seem much less jarring when you walk in there first thing in the morning. 

Colors (both Sherwin Williams):  Clary Sage (light green) and Secret Garden (dark green)

Uncle Jonny & Ninny get hitched

this summer on July 16, Brandon's best friend, aka my second husband, aka Grey's godfather & "Uncle Jonny"

 married my lifetime sidekick, aka Grey's "Ninny."

The day had perfect weather, the bride was a vision, and the venue was gorgeous.  Brandon gave a speech as one of the co-best men that made everyone tear up and laugh,

 I ripped off the shirt of the bride's brother to expose his beater underneath during our entrance into the reception (please, we were just giving the ladies what they wanted),

and Grey danced his little 15 month old booty off.

Both of our families were in attendance since the Kochs are practically part of our families anyhow.  So we had babysitters to all sides of us and could let loose and enjoy the night.  Well Brandon could, at that point I was about a month pregnant so I enjoyed myself plenty shirley temples and frequented the cookie table.

Brandon and I were both honored to be in their wedding and are so happy for our favorite friends.  Happy ever after, Uncle Jonny & Nin.

what's in your belly?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It has been smoother times one trillion to be pregnant a second time around.  First time pregnant was not so smooth.  I was blindsided by how un-glowy and unable I was to lead a normal life.  You'd think somewhere in my brain I would have made the assumption "Growing a human + trying to live like you do normally = unlikely" but I just didn't.  So I fought it every step of the way.  I was uncomfortable and tired and on top of that, I had morning sickness and heartburn and insomnia and backache.  ugh, plus I was a moody, miserable brat.  (hi family, yea, that's me acknowledging it!)

But this time, I am chasing a toddler around and looking forward to holding a tiny baby that doesn't wiggle and squirm and scream "AGNOR?"(tractor) into my face every 20 minutes.  Oh, to snuggle with a tiny little body that just wants to be held.  I'm also worried about being attached 24/7 as this tiny new little snuggly baby will not know how to feed itself, or get its own shoes out of the shoe cabinet, or know what it means when the sound machine goes on and the lights go out (sleepy time).  But we're trying to enjoy this time as we now have an idea of what we're in store for.  We've been there, done that and we feel like old pros (okay, I'm exaggerating there a little).

But its been so much easier and smoother to have an idea of what we're getting into.  I've got heartburn?  No biggie, I saw that one coming.  I'm tired at 4p?  Yea, saw that one too - that means snack time and books with Booboo, okay no big deal.  Psychotic shopping trips to get things that I think I need?  Nope, we've got those things already (and more than we need...anyone want to buy a high chair?)

how much more relaxed and comfortable do I look in baby pic#2?  hah!  and quite frankly I'm also more tan, so that's cool.

It has been pretty hilarious trying to get Grey to understand about the new baby.  He has fully gotten it down that Mumma has a baby in her belly.  But so does he.  And Dadda and Bullet and both grandmas have one in theirs too.  (to which the grandmas announced that they've got lawsuits waiting for some doctors if that's the case).

I saw this adorable idea on pinterest* that I imagined Grey and I doing together to involve him in the excitement of the new baby

And we tried, but ours turned out less cute and more wild

In the next few months, we'll be doing more baby prep.  We've got triple the baby prep this time around:  We need to prep the house & nursery, we need to re-prep Bullet, and we need to prep Greyson.  We'll be practicing with a babydoll on how to be kind and quiet, learning to sleep in a big boy bed, and learning about what the baby eats and plays with.  We'll also be setting up rituals that we do with Grey alone (big boy stuff) and how being a big boy is just as awesome as being the new baby.  He's only 17 months, but toddlers understand a lot more than adults initially imagine.  We're going to talk about it, because somewhere in there he hears us and he is learning.

*If you don't yet know about Pinterest, you are unfortunately missing out on a very big deal.  Be forewarned, hours will slip by without you realizing it.  Its highly addictive and dangerous for eating away your time.  Once you get over the initial addiction and uncontrollable pinning (and sometimes daydreaming about pinning), you'll learn how to control you're cravings and pin with ease and self-restraint.  Please don't be a crazy pinner and then never do the projects.  My friend Heather over at Life, Love, and Laughter is great at pinning and then actually doing.  I've been trying to be better at it too and will update with Pinterest projects soon (after I get fully updated on  here).  Happy pinning!! (and feel free to follow me!)

The toddler Outdoorsman

Monday, September 19, 2011

With our new house, we also got a very new big yard that also has an incredible view.  we're more lucky than we deserve, we know.  this abundance of land has turned my toddler into a full-fledged outdoorsman...(big suprise..just like his dadda).  Our days consist of the same exact schedule everyday, with changes only to the things Grey feels like exploring.  In the early afternoon, Grey wanders around outside exploring while mum does work and then after his nap and a snack, he does some more exploring.  

He's like night and day when he goes from "playing" inside to exploring outside.  I say "playing" in quotes, because when we're indoors "playing," it really means; whining, hanging on me, pulling snacks out of the cupboard -dumping them out- and stepping on every one, throwing things in the toilet and/or garbage can while saying "buhbye", throwing Bullet's food in his water dish, and chasing Bullet around with a hockey stick.  

But when we're exploring outside, he..
picks "apples" (pears)

He follows Bullet into new spaces, like in the pine trees at the curve of the driveway

He runs down the driveway screaming, "buuuuuuuuuuuweeeeeeee" (which means bully)
And he works on his "booboo agner" (booboo tractor)

He pulls holly berries off of the holly bushes in front of the house  

He takes quick swims with Bully

And he attempts daring feats, like balancing precariously on top of his motorized harley 

All of this outdoor exploring makes for some really great photography I'm good with my little outdoorsman.  keep imagining big, baby.

Booboo's room

Thursday, September 15, 2011

One of the first rooms to get a paint job was Grey's room since we wanted him to get settled as quickly as possible; back in his own bed, back in his own room.  See, when we first transitioned to the new house - mum, dad, and boo were all sleep on air mattresses huddled in the corner of the living room downstairs.  Actually, that's not entirely true, Bullet was there too.  So as quickly as we could get back to our own beds and in our rooms was the first order of business.

The room designated for Booboo was pretty plain to start with:  (oh, but look at that beautiful ceiling).

Then we locked my momma in there (hah, just kidding) and she went to town until the whole room was painted.

Paint colors are Gulf Stream and Rally Green (both from Sherwin Williams)

The colors really do something positive for that wacky green carpet and makes all the brown wood pop.  The green strip runs across the entire room and makes it feel a little more expansive in there than before.  With the help of the leveling laser, it really wasn't anymore trouble than taping it all out.  If you are thinking about a project where you need straight lines, we definitely recommend either finding someone you know who has one or buying/renting one for the project.  We also used it for hanging the trail rail in our bedroom (update coming soon) and installing the wainscoting in the dining room.

Booboo seems happy to be back in his own room with his toys and space again.  Although, why is it that he looks like he's fifteen in this picture, like, 'mum, seriously- come on'

June & July wrap-up awards

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

taking a cue from one of my fav blogs while taking into consideration the insane amount of blog posts I haven't been able to write over the past two months...I'm handing out "awards" for the events/people that have highlighted our June/July in effort to help update on our wacky lives.

Happiest surprise in the bathroom (hah)
We found out we were pregnant again this summer and as told in this post, I woke B up from sweet slumber to shove the evidence in his sleepy eyes.  We told the grandparents and aunts and then disseminated information to our close friends and family.  When we finally broke the news on facebook, I could give an award for most overwhelming show of cyber love with as many "likes" and comments we got on our ultrasound picture.  It seriously brought this emotional pregs to tears.  It is still only sinking in that we're going to have two kiddies living in our house, but Grey is slowly starting to understand that there is a baby in mumma's baby (and possibly his too).  He's also learning about "shhh, the baby is sleeping" and we've been pointing out "little babies" and how you have to be nice to them and careful because they are "just little."

Best new Greyson talent
talking!  Well, trying to talk.  We tried to count the other day how many meaningful words Grey can say and we counted over 45 (at 17 months), which don't include his sign language words.  I'm planning on doing a more in-depth post about language encouragement and how it rolls at our house, but for now you can watch and giggle at this (filmed when he was 16 months):

(Video clarification:
"That little baby" is Greyson watching himself being recorded.
Grey knows the word alpaca because my aunt - who lives next door to my parents- have alpacas
Chum and Abba are what we call my parents
When I ask Grey what Bullet does outside, he waves his hand to the side, which is our sign for "outside")

Worst new Greyson talent
hitting.  he started hitting Bullet in the face and because Bully is a big tough pitbull, he could care less.  So he just licks Grey which makes him continue to hit him.  Now he's been testing out hitting family members, square across the face.  So far, he's biatch slapped (on more than one occasion), his mumma, dad, and Aunt Uch.

Longest solo road trip
Brandon travels everyday for work and since he has four stores, he usually drives at least 2 hours each day.  In one day, I drove from Blue Knob to Erie and back...that's six hours on the road in ONE day.  but the absolute longest solo road trip over the past three months was my part work/part Erie packing trip by way of Blue Knob, PA-Washington, DC-Akron, OH-Erie, PA-Blue Knob, PA.  Between work meetings and travel, it took a total of three days and a lot of strange cd mixes that I discovered in the car from high school and college.  Including a fantastic mix (called the Schweetheart mix) that had tunes varying from "I'm on my Way" by the Proclaimers, to "If you want me to" by Ginny Owens

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Most likely to be electrocuted in the next few minutes
ME.  I have had the horrible luck with technology over the past two and a half months.  First Grey stepped on my work laptop computer, forcing me to lug around a full-size monitor.  Then, we had the rain + camera incident that made me want to cry.  Then my work laptop decided it was just not going to work not even open a blank Word document.  And then our new house was power surged from a very wild lightening storm and blew out our home laptop charger and all the outlets in our house.  And then finally, my very curious son decided to dunk my cell phone into Bullet's water dish which was the kiss of death to my already most-busted old school cell phone.  Seriously, do not lend me anything that you want back that has batteries... I am not in the good graces of the technology gods right now.

Bullet's favorite adventure
Bud, my sisters, Grey, and I took Bullet for a trek and a swim back to the dam near my parents' house (which I'm not mentioning by name because its not technically legal to swim there, but we (and Bullet) were desperate to escape the summer heat).  Bully was so happy to go for a walk in new territory that he even agree to pull Grey in the wagon for awhile.

When we made it back to "the rock," Brandon walked Bullet around the bottom and Bully took all of 2 seconds to take a running leap into the dam.  Aunt Kitty and Mumma then proceeded to jump in and we all had a grand 'ole time swimming.

aunt kitty takes a jump!
bully happy to swim with mum and dad
Bully swam in that dam like an otter and loved every second of it.  Of course, we had to drag him out after 30 minutes because it was obvious he would have swam around until he drown to death.  We need to do more Bullet swimming opportunities, because not only did it make him happy, but it also made him very sleepy later.

And then Grey was reminded on why he's so lucky to have my sisters for aunts...because they do stuff like this:

Most solid friendship formed
We had such a fun summer playing with Sophia and Aunt Kate.  They kept us busy when times we got tough and kept us laughing and smiling.  Now that they're older, Grey and Soph actually know each other (which is quite a feat for babies) and play together..and sometimes still alongside each other.  Soph is the kindest, most gentle, honeychild in existence and calls out "Greyson!" and puts up with all his pushes and slaps and toy stealing.  They waddle around and find strange places to sit down and share food and silverware and make their mummas happy...because when we watch them play, all we can see is how they'll be friends forever and that they'll take good care of each other in the future when friends become more important than mummas.

The most kid-friendly restaurant visited:  HOOTERS
yes, you read that correct.  The Fiores and the Studers (with kids in tow) visited Hooters for crab night and discovered that Hooters is actually one of the most kid-friendly restaurants we've been to in a long while.  First, the floors and tables are already covered in sticky goop, so who cares if your kid makes a huge mess while eating?  Second, it's already loud in there, so who cares if your kid is screaming clapping and shouting every time anyone cheers at the game on tv.  Third, kids get balloons...and all kids love balloons.  We had a great time chatting, eating, and drinking while the kids did pretty much whatever they wanted and no one else was bothered.  It was bliss.  Plus, at one point, the waitress came over and stood between the two kids and both of them started (only slightly inappropriately) to rub her shiny, orange pants.  oooooh, pretty.  who cared?  no one - its Hooters!

Our favorite visit with friends that live in Chicago
Okay, fine - they were our only visit with friends that live in Chicago, but it still counts as one of our favorite visits.  We got to spend some time chatting and laughing about Greyson's fly dance moves with the Vorndrans and Terchaniks.  It was just a quick dinner visit, but meant a lot to us to get to spend some time with them.  Of course, in true Booboo fashion - he showed off the whole time and also re-opened every single one of Taryn's birthday presents.

Dada's biggest throttle envy
In full Johnstown tradition, we headed down to Thunder in the Valley to get some good eats (dear funnel cake, I honestly love you.  yours forever, Tabitha I Studer) and let Dada swoon over all of the Harleys that we can't afford right now.  Grey loved hearing all the bikes and seeing all the people.  One of our favorite local Irish bands was jamming out and we let Booboo have his own little dance party while our young friends made a Greyson corral to keep him from wandering off with strangers.

Lifespan Achievement Award
Our fish.  We have three tropical goldfish and a catfish that have survived more miles and moves than is reasonable for tiny water-dwelling creatures.  Brandon got them while he was a junior in college, so they've moved back and forth between summers for 2 years (2 hour drive).  Then they moved with us to Punxsutawney (1 hour drive), then to Erie (3 hours), then to our house in Fairview (15 minutes), then to Blue Knob (4 hours), then to our new place in Davidsville (an hour a half).  On the last drive, the fish endured a ride in a sloshing 20 gallon cooler, partially filled with water.  (I know, please don't call peta on me).  They not only survived, but are thriving in our new place.  I guess we have the little school of fish that could.

George, Penelope, Silver, and Baby Daddy (who's hiding in the stump)
adoration & wonder
Biggest crapshoot of a new years resolution ever.
The year of the Shrinking Studers.  Do you recall reading some very well-intentioned writing about how we were going to focus our year on minimizing all things Studer-related?  Well, we've increased our square footage in buying a bigger house.  We've increased our family size by growing another beaner (which subsequently increases my waistline).  We've lived in three different places this summer (Erie, Blue Knob, and Davidsville), and we've done more traveling and planning this year than most other years. At least we didn't get anymore pets?   Biggest.bust.ever.

Cutest face
Still Greyson.  even if he drives his mumma crazy...there ain't no denyin' that my kid has a cute face.  He even won the award at the Beer Olympics for 'cutest face.'  Granted, his parents run that show, but I'm not confirming that it was rigged in any way.