Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ikea Trip and some Projects

Yesterday my friend and I drove out to Ikea.  It's over an hour and half drive so we really meant business.  Ok I meant business and she came along to keep me company.  The trip really started last Saturday.  I went to a mother of twins sale with my girlfriends and left Dr. J in charge of getting the kids up.  When I got home a couple of hours later he said, "Look I know we are trying to save money and all but we have got to do something about the furniture situation.  We need shelves, a desk for the Captain E's room, some cubbies, some night stands for our room, and a dresser for Sweetie Petities' clothes.  I was trying to clean up but there is just no place to put things."  And the man is right.  We started out with nothing in a 300 square foot apartment, not even a bed to our name.  We've picked up some odds and ends here and there but we really don't own a ton of furniture.  Furniture cost money, something we rarely have any of :)

So this weekend we started major efforts at getting together a place to put things.  It started with a few runs to local furniture stores.  In the end I decided that I have zero interest in modern desks.  If I want particle board I'll just go to Walmart (Ashley Furniture I'm talking to you).  I'm now on the look out for a nice used secretary style desk for E's room.  It will more closely match the current style of furniture he has, it will be solid wood, and it will close so we can hide his crazy messes!

We also ended up with a miter saw and some wood to make shelves in the some of the closets.  Originally I was not completely on the miter saw train.  I was worried about someone cutting their fingers off and with the expense we'd have to lay out this month for the 1/4 of the cow we bought and the freezer we need to store it, I wasn't entirely happy about spending the money.  Then I said to Dr. J, "Wait does this mean we'll be able to frame the mirrors?"  "Heck yeah it does, and it will be a cinch," he said.  "Sold," I said.  I pinned that idea months ago and have been pining over ever since.

                                                                Source: via Crystal on Pinterest

Then he said, "Well I guess people shouldn't be surprised when we give them picture frames for Christmas this year."  And then I said, "Double sold!"

                                                                    Source: via Crystal on Pinterest

So now you know my dirty little secret.  If you want to buy power tools and you are my husband, tell me which of the projects I've be really wanting to do that you can now do with said tool.  When the miter saw got home Dr. J went straight to work on putting some shelves in E's closet.  I mean after all he does only get one day off a week.  A couple hours later E had three new shelves.  I plan on eventually painting them white but right now they are doing a stand up job of helping to hold shoes, games and toys that I confiscated off his dresser.  I also used the opportunity while he was at school today to clean off his dresser and bedroom shelf.  I threw away a bag of garbage and put some things on that middle shelf in the closet and for the first time in months he has a clean room.

I plan on painting that shelf in the corner, putting blinds in the window and then adding the desk.  
Something like this:

  or this 
Then I'll be done with his room.

The girls major problem is not having enough places to put their toys, which really when you consider they have two shelves and a toy box in their room borderlines on insanity.  They also have a problem with room for their shoes.  I bought this little white shelf for them to put shoes on but was so low to the ground the bottom shelf was pretty much worthless.  Often their closet is a total danger zone.  I took this picture after I'd cleaned about half of it up.  It is seriously scary.  To help them out I bought a trofast cubby at IKEA.  Dr. J is a fan because it is actually made out of wood.  I'm a huge fan because it is adorable.  I was also able to put the shoe shelf on top making the bottom shelf and the space under usable.  We plan to label the bins with pictures and words of what actually belongs there.  It was one of the main reasons I went to Ikea.

RAST 3 drawer chest IKEA Solid wood, a hardwearing natural material.
The other main reason was this Rast chest.  Before Dr. J had mentioned the night stands I'd been thinking about them.  We spend a lot of nights reading in bed and lamps on a night stand would be more convenient.  I also tend to be a horder of small things.  Usually I toss them on the floor by my beside.  You'll will often find my kindle, my phone, a couple of hair things, a book or three, and some headphones haphazardly tossed on the ground.  Seriously not me at my best.  Dr. J will have his laptop, a medical book or five, his phone, a few bills, etc.  We needed someplace to put this stuff that isn't so obvious or so messy.     I've looked at nightstands and haven't been overly impressed.  They are pretty expensive for not much bang.  Then I came across this IKEA hack.

                                                                        Source: via Crystal on Pinterest

Hello gorgeous, A Charming Nest is amazing!  And guess who now has the tools she needs to do this hack?  Yup, that's right, me!  So while I was at Ikea I picked up two of these little dressers and with a couple of days off, this gorgeous nightstand will be mine :)

While we were there we also looked for some spice racks.

                                                                 Source: via Crystal on Pinterest

But you know what, they don't have them.  They never have them.  Apparently when they come in, people come and clear them out.  When Erin was in Utah last week she went to Ikea there as well to see if she could get her hands on some.  The guy there told her that they sell out in just a few days because people buy them to spray paint and sell.  You know what I found out with a quick internet search yesterday, people don't even both to spray paint them.  They just put them up on ebay.  A four dollar shelf and a great idea have now become a money making cash cow for a select few who live close enough to get there fast and buy them out quick.  If you want one of these little shelves you can pay some person on ebay 13.99 plus $7.00 s/h.  Um I don't think so.  So that got me to thinking, why can't you just make them.  And if I thought of this, a person who has zero original ideas when it comes to crafting and projects them someone else must have as well.  A quick internet search and I found her.  Bless her heart she even gave you measurements.  So thanks to Adventures In Creating, I'll probably be making some of these little babies in the next few weeks.

And then as a final note to my project seeking mind I found this great site with all sorts of diy projects including a bunch of different ways to make a headboard with instructions and cost.  I predict a headboard may eventually be in my future.  I also suspect Dr. J may start to regret getting that new saw :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pinned It - Photo Canvas

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A couple of months ago I pinned photo canvases.  People were printing pictures and the using modge podge   to stick them to canvas.  I decided it would be a fun craft to try.  Originally I was just going to paint the edges silver so I started with that.  
I then painted the canvas with modge podge and put the pictures on the canvas.  I used cheap prints I had made at Sam's club.  I have a smugmug account and I think their prints are great but when you are doing a craft that you aren't sure how it will turn out cheap is better.  If you're going to do prints at Sam's and they are professional prints make sure to take your release form so they can put it on file.  These 11 x 14 prints cost me $2.00.  The 16 x 20 was almost $5.00.

 Some people stop here because they like the photos shiny.  I was worried about finger prints and I like the way canvas looks, so I modge podged over the top.  I did the brush strokes all one direction with a sponge brush.  Then after the modge podge dried I went over the picture again going the opposite direction to give it the feel of crosshatch.
 I let them dry and decided I didn't like the edges.  So I took black paint and went around the edges.  It was a fun project and with all the supplies the whole project to do five canvases cost me less than fifty dollars.  Very fun!  Plus I'm so happy to finally have some of of the photos my friend Jessica did last year up on my walls.  They were so gorgeous.  It was a crime to have them just sitting on the computer!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

They Just Keep Growing

The kids just keep growing.  I mean seriously why won't they stop!  Captain E is eight now.  It's great to be eight.  Kid cracks me up.  As soon as he knows you are taking a picture those eyes snap shut.  It is almost impossible to get a picture of this kid when he knows you are trying.  Easter, mother's day, back to school pics.  These are so hard.  Kid kills me.  I tried growling and bribing.  No joy.  Instead enjoy this silly look with the eyes closed.  Look at those skinny long legs and arms.  This kid cracks me up.
Then we've got Gigi.  Finally five an moving on to school.  She loves the bus.  She loves the social aspects of school, having a whole new group of friends.  She loves snacks, reading, the library, art, and PE.  There is one thing she hates about Kindergarten, nap time!  Everyday she comes home and tells me they had to have rest time again.  "I haven't taken a nap in years mom," she tells me.  Yes I know sweetie, yes I know.
Little miss peach.  Oh boy.  Three has always been the hardest age for me.  The kids go from being these cute little mama loving babies to being these independent, opinionated little people.  Every day becomes an exercise in hostage negotiation.  Peach has been no exception but she also is adorable.  This particular day she wore her pajama top all day under her backwards shirt.  That's just how we roll her.  She also recently got this little pixie cut.  In general I'm anti bangs on my babies because as the hair thickens up they just keep getting thicker but Peaches hair is so thin and crazy :)  She loves it!

Then we have little miss cheetah who I have renamed Petitie Sweetie, aka sweet pea.  She is adorable and pretty much the most trouble I've ever seen in such a small package!  In three days she will be ten months old....or 71/2 months adjusted.  She is just a tiny little thing, 16lbs but she rules the roost in this house.  Smart little whip of a girl.  She can get the lids off markers.  I often find her crawling around chewing on the tabs of the door stops.  She will unplug my phone and suck on the chord.  Ok maybe she just has an oral fixation.  She is one of the happiest little people I've ever seen.  We adore her.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An Average of 1 day off every 7

As a general rule Dr. J get's one day off in seven.  There are those blessed ambulatory months where he will get two, but those are few and far between and by law he only has to be given an average of one day off in seven, and it's an average, so sometimes he works fifteen days in a row and then they give him two.  But usually they try to give them one in seven because residents get stinky if they don't have a day every once in awhile to wash their clothes and they get skinny if they don't get the opportunity to buy more milk and cereal for early breakfast and late dinner.  He doesn't get to pick when those days off will be and for that I'm grateful because a couple days ago I realized I wouldn't want it to be on Sunday.

The Pro on the Sunday off-
The nice thing about Sunday is if he has it off he gets to come to church, and after not coming in weeks the man usually misses church.  It's nice for our ward because they realize I actually have a husband.  It's nice for our children because they are home and get to see their dad most of the day.  It is nice for me because then there are two extra hands at church and our services are long...not Amish long, but at three hours definitely not short, and for an hour and fifteen I'm trying to entertain four little kids by myself in a meeting absolutely not geared toward them.

The Cons on Sunday off-
A few weeks ago I had just had it.  I mean the kids have been home and crazy all summer.  Dr. J was busy.  I felt like with the nursing baby and demanding toddler and the oldest child who always needs a little extra security that I was always been touched, demanded on, physically drained.  Dr. J got home a little early one night and said, "What can I do for you?  What do you need?  Do you want to go out?"  "Yes," I said, "but not in the way you think."  And so I left the house, kid and husband free.  I went to Goodwill to get some tins for a project I'm doing.  I went to Walmart to make a return.  I went to Sam's club to pick up some things.  I called my mom and said, "I'm in Heaven."  And so here is the thing about Sundays off.  Days off on Sunday mean no mowing lawn.  No projects done.  No cleaning help.  No babysitting kids so I can run errands.  They mean no going out as a family.  They mean no dates.  They mean no dentist, eye, or doctor's appointments.  They mean no shopping trips for new pants and sometimes pants are falling apart.  They mean no movies, no temple trips, no help with grocery shopping, no parent school plays, no help at parent teacher conference, no trips to the pool, no book group, no girls nights out.  It wears on you after awhile.   So every once in awhile I Sunday off is a treat, but more often then not I'd just as much take a Tuesday :) It might sound silly, it might sound worldly but that's just the truth of how I feel.

This Sunday daddy was working.  He had the Saturday before off and we went to the fair.  Sunday he was on short call so not off until nine.  Because the hospital is often slow in the evenings he called and asked if we wanted to eat dinner with him.  I packed up the kids, some pork ribs, and the best mash potatoes I think I've ever made in my life.  We invaded one of the nurses break rooms.  We tried to watch what would have been our only viewing of the Olympics.  Nothing events were showing because they were covering the shootings at the Sikh temple.  I was sad about the shooting but I'm probably a bad person because I was also sad about not getting to see any events on the one day I might have.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Photo: Six hours at the fair...we are tired :)

Why yes that is my daughter with the rosebud mouth and the cream skin.  Feel free to covet what beautiful babies I make :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Preemie Life - Nine Months Old, Six 1/2 months adjusted

Nine Months Old!  Can you believe it.  I'm not going to say the time just flew by because wow summer really dragged on a bit there with four kids at home but it amazing how long quickly she is growing.  On her nine month birthday she weighed in at a whopping 16lbs!  She is only in the 7th percentile for weight and 10th for height but when you look at her adjusted stats Cheetah rides closer to the middle.

Photo: Someone is becoming a huge mommas girl and my arms are getting super tired!
Photo: Homemade roller coaster! is a mobile little beast.  You will find her all over the house hiding out.  She loves under the table, with three messy older siblings there are plenty of scraps to find there.  At the shower curtain, if you stand up just right while mom is taking a shower you can suck water off the curtain...yum gross!  Under the computer desk.  Yesterday I had to rearrange all the chords to get everything off the floor.  Someone managed to give them shelves a shock sucking on the end of a charger...SCARY!  She likes to go in her sisters' room to chew on my little ponies.  You'll find her in Captain E's room trying to eat book and legos.  She stands at everything.  Making dinner has the added charm of her clinging to my pant legs.  She can slowly cruise the couch or your legs if you are sitting on the floor.  On Tuesday she stood for about five second unassisted until I shouted, "Hey look you're standing, let me get the camera.  She looked at me, lost her balance and face planted in the grass.  She likes to crawl outside the door (just like her older sister peach) and in the garage where he knees and toes get covered in dust!

Photo: Put gel in Aylin's hair today and when grace saw her she said,"well HELLO handsome."
Her eyes are still hazel but her hair has just a hint of curl and is starting to thicken up quite nicely.  One day last week I put a little gel in it to see if the curl would stay all day.  It was an adorable little mohawk.  One day last week Peach decided to put slime in her hair.  It was not nearly so adorable and had to be washed out, but Cheetah was a good sport about it :)  Cheetah tans really nicely well.  So it looks like we've got another brown baby on our hands.

Cheetah is one for exploration.  She loves to pull all the toys or books off a shelf, open up boxes, and rip open bags.  If there is a basket in the room she wants to know what is inside.  In the kitchen she loves getting her hands on cooking implements.

Photo: Yikes, close encounters with older sis! is starting to recognize words like her name and no.  She jabbers at you like she knows what she's talking about for the most part there is nothing recognizable with the exception of the word mum.  She knows who her mama is and I am her favorite.  At night when she wakes up or is having difficulty falling to sleep she'll call out "mum, mum, mum," until she finds her way into my arms.

Photo: Trouble all over my house to be had.... of the time though she is happy to be part of the games with everyone else.  Her siblings drag her around everywhere.  She is like a living doll, a live audience, and a playmate all rolled up into one.  They fight over who gets to hold her and if they get sent to time out will try to sneak her in with them. They love to turn on music for her because she will get excited, clap her hands and start to rock.  All of them enjoy picking her outfits out and trying to find shows on PBS they think she will like :)

Her mouth is her favorite way to test all objects.  As I mentioned before she likes to chew on chords.  She also eats paper, pretty much any paper she can get her hands and mouth on.  She chews on shoes, just like a puppy and at least once a day I have to fish some type of small toy out of her mouth that she managed to get her hands on.  She loves putting hair in her mouth.  Stuff on your head, hair balls she finds on the broom, makes no difference to her.  I also caught her this week putting an ant covered coca puff in her mouth. Her favorite chew toy, my new iphone.  I spend hours a day trying to keep that away from her.

She is my best eater of baby food as well.  She eats oatmeal, rice cereal, bananas, applesauce, pureed mango.  Dr. J even feed her a chicken medley which she ate with gusto.  Her bottle feeding skills are still pretty bad but I got her a sippy cup that she at least likes to chew on and pretend that she knows what she's doing.

Photo: Remember when you could leave projects out....
Photo: Why babies need seat belts :) included a video of her last developmental peds visit.  When Preemies are born they are given their actual birthday and then on the day of their due date they are given an adjusted birth date.  That's why Cheetah is nine months old according to her actual birthday but 6 1/2 months adjusted because for the first two and half months of her life she wasn't out hitting baby developmental milestones but instead was hitting gestational ones.  The adjusted date helps everyone keep expectations realistic on what preemies should be doing and it stays in place until they hit two years old when most preemies have caught up.  Along with that date comes visits to the developmental pediatrician.  I love Cheetah's developmental pediatrian.  She is lively and fun, full of so much love for children and for life that it literally radiates off of her.  On our visit a few weeks ago the pediatrician told me she had no need to see Cheetah anymore.  She is doing everything she should be and is even on the front end of what she should be doing for her real age.  She called her the clinic superstar!  She told me she wanted to bring her student in to stump him for a little bit of fun, poor guy!  I know we have been super blessed and am so grateful for how well our little Cheetah is doing and how much happiness she brings to our family!
Photo: Lots of waking up in the night, no nap today, Jason on call last night, and at clinic today.  So tired that this has become the face of my enemy ;)

Cheetah the clinic superstar stumping the med student.

Just a sample of her rocking to music.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1st Day of School

Motherhood is Split Personality.  The day summer vacation starts is one of the happiest and saddest of your life, as is the first day of school.  Our first day came a little faster this year thanks to a new balance calendar.  We also had a couple of FIRSTS.  G-bear started her FIRST day of kindergarten.  She picked her outfit out months ago.  She planned her hair, backpack, lunch, and shoes weeks in advance.  This morning she hopped out of bed the first time I called and was ready in a flash.  Today she told me she wants to be a mom when she grows up.  She used to say nurse but her run in with the nurses during kindergarten shots curved her enthusiasm for the profession.  It will be fun to watch how her interests change as the years go by.  I have no doubt though someday she will be a mom and a great one at that.  She has more patience and love in her little finger then I have in my whole body.  Her kids will be some of the luckiest in the world.  There isn't a man on earth I think worthy of her love.
Photo: G bears first day of kindergarten
Captain E took two times of calling before he got out of bed.  Still not bad for a first day.  He was excited about his new shoes, backpack, and lunch box.  He was also excited about the coco pops I let him eat for breakfast.  A first in this house, but we were trying to get one more sponge bob squirt gun and it was the only GM cereal that still had them.  He was most excited about taking the bus this year.  It picks up right by our house.  He told me when we crossed the street to the stop, "Mom, I've wanted to ride the bus my whole life."  Well thanks sweetie, here all this time I thought I was doing you a favor by driving you :)  I had some reservations about putting them on the bus, but we live close, they have each other, and it will save me having to drag napping kids out of the house.  Plus it would take me longer to walk/drive over and pick them up.  It warmed my heart when I saw them sit together on the bus and when Captain E told me, "Don't worry about GG.  I'll take her and drop her off at her classroom before I go to mine."  He's in third grade this year.  It's crazy how fast time has flown.  Seems like just yesterday he was going to preschool for the first time.  Today he told me he wants to be an artist.
Photo: Ezra's first day of 3rd grade


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