Today my sweet boy turns one!
We had a little park party with his friends and family over the weekend.
Today my sweet boy turns one!
We had a little park party with his friends and family over the weekend.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Just 356 days ago this amazing, active little boy made me a Mommy! What a tremendous gift.
Now we’re picnicking in the park and taking our new SUP board out for its maiden voyage!
I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday, whether you’re celebrating your own mother, mothering a human child, or are a pet parent! For those who are missing their mommas today, you are in our prayers.
With the beautiful Spring weather we’ve had recently, Tony and I have spent a lot of time outside. A couple Saturdays ago was Mulch Day. Tony went to get a truckload of mulch while I got EO set up in the Pack’n’Play out front.
Tony found these bricks on CraigList when someone was digging up their brick patio, but originally they paved a road in some small town nearby. He had this awesome vision of a brick patio off the back porch. Then he got busy with the bathrooms and the library and school and everything else, so they’ve been sitting there ever since.
I swear there was no ulterior motive when I suggested it was time to get rid of the bricks, but next thing I knew, this was happening:
Ok, to be fair, we’ve been cooking with gas for some time now. This old oven/stovetop came with the house when we bought it.
As Tony and I have debated aspects of a potential kitchen remodel, one component we discussed was replacing our old gas range with an electric one. I grew up in a home with electric, so I felt most comfortable with it. Besides, I complained to my friend, Monica, “It’s impossible to cook anything on low! Our stove has two settings: high and super high!”
Monica and her husband rave about cooking with gas, as do most of my friends who cook, come to think of it. So Monica was visiting a while ago and took a look at our range. “I see your problem,” she said. “All your burners are the same size. On most gas stoves you have a couple big burners and a couple smaller ones so it’s easier to simmer.”
Anyway, we made do with our old, ugly, superheated oven for another year or so after Monica’s revelation, because it worked. And we’d learned how to compensate for the ridiculously high heat levels (manic dinner preparation). And new stoves are expensive.
Then Home Depot had a sale…
… And this Beauty found a new home!
Next step is to box in that five inch wide space on the left. I wanted to do it when we put that little cabinet on the right in, but I was waiting to replace the stove first. You can’t see it in the photo, but our gas line comes up from the cellar in a spot that prohibits anything from going right up to that wall. Tony looked at moving it, but the floor joists line up in way that moving the line wasn’t really an option. It’s fine with me though – it will be nice to have a teeny bit of counter space on that side of the stove.
Now it’s time to relearn how to cook all my favorite stovetop recipes!
Thank goodness for three day weekends! Last Monday was Presidents’ Day, and I honored the contributions of Presidents past by taking care of a little project that’s been on my to-do list for three years now. I’ve been meaning to replace these glass shelves with wooden ones since we moved in!
The reasons for replacing these shelves were two-fold: first, glass shelves seem a little dated. Second, and more importantly, I was always eyeing them to see if the bowing in the middle had gotten worse. I was just waiting for the central support to pull out of the wall and the shelves to collapse in a heap of deadly glass shards! Luckily, that had not actually happened, and I wanted to avoid such a scenario.
Sunday night was date night, so Little Man was at Mimzy’s. I took advantage of a baby-free morning to sand, paint, and stain the wood for the shelves. Notice, we don’t dress up for staining on the back porch!
I was using an extremely simple design. The supports (made from 1×2 pine strips) were painted to match the existing opening and would hide the holes from the glass shelf supports. Tony helped me screw the supports into the wall, and I filled the holes with wood filler.
It’s all very stable – no more concerns of fallen shelf carnage. And I took the opportunity to rearrange a few other items with the knowledge that we’re going to have a little walker sooner than I care to think about! Now that Generations frame will be out of reach for a while… At least until he starts climbing!
Little Man is legit crawling now, too. So you’ll excuse my absence, I hope, as I’ve been trying (and failing!) to clean all the things. There’s nothing like a baby dragging himself across your floors to draw attention to just how much dog hair is really down there!!
I have a couple Love themed projects to highlight though, in honor of V-Day coming up soon. This first one EO and I actually made for Christmas.
The wood was all scrap from past projects, and it had been sanded smooth already, which was fantastic! I just brushed acrylic paint on EO’s foot (1 at a time) and pressed it onto the bare wood. The hands were harder, as he kept balling them into fists, so I let him fall asleep on the couch and carefully pressed his hand to the wood as he slept. I intended to design letters on my machine for the ‘l’ and ‘e,’ but eventually just decided to freehand it. EO watched from his box in the kitchen as I applied a coat of dark walnut stain to each sign out on the back porch.
I’ve been eyeing the sign I made for myself and wanting to do something else with those precious little feet. I decided on a Valentine’s Day shirt – season of love and all! Amazon had baseball tees for a good price so I ordered one up and put cardboard between the front and back layers. I mixed regular acrylic paint 2:1 with a fabric medium (to thin it out so the paint will stretch a bit when the material does) and used a sponge to apply the paint mixture over the top of a vinyl stencil cut on my machine. It’s not perfect. EO scrunched the fabric between his little toes when I put the second foot down, but I’m excited to wear it for Valentine’s Day next week!
Wishing lots of love to you all!
Here we are on January 15th, 2017. I’ve just now, finally, taken down all the holiday decorations (thank you, 4-day weekend) and begun to reflect on the last year. For our little family 2016 was expensive (new water line, HVAC, and windows, plus a major truck repair) and emotional (my parents’ divorce, the birth of our baby). I’m looking forward to a fresh start and planning new projects for 2017!
The long-terms goals for this year include a guest bedroom remodel (paint, chair cover, furniture updates) and an end table that looks like a card catalog for the library. For the time being, though, I’ll be taking on little projects here and there and spending the majority of my free time with our little crawler! Crawling?! It’s crazy, I know.
Plus, I have to recuperate from that giant wardrobe! …The one that I built to hold all Tony’s tools, but I don’t want to put any tools in now because they will mess it up… Goodness.
Anyway, here’s my first project of the calendar year:
I’ve wanted one of these Kitchenaid Stand Mixers for some time. When we got married I didn’t cook much, so it seemed silly to register for such an expensive kitchen appliance. Over the last few years I’ve really upped my culinary game though, and I began to dream about one of those beautiful mixers. Tony found one that was nearly new for me for Christmas, and I’ve been whipping up cookies, pizza dough, scones, more cookies, guacamole, baby food, shredding chicken… Basically everything! It’s been a blast. To personalize my new machine I added some subway art vinyl and sewed a cover for the bowl that will keep all my attachments dust free.
Happy baking, and Happy New Year to you from us!
It hasn’t been all elves and mistletoe around here though. I’ve had a big deadline to try and meet in terms of my wardrobe project, and there’s nothing better than a deadline to get a girl’s bee-hind in gear!
And boy, was I cutting it close on this one! Just an hour before guests arrived I was vacuuming saw dust and snapping these pictures!
If you’d asked me on Wednesday if it would be ready, I would have grunted out a frustrated “no.” Last weekend mom came over to help me finish painting the doors, so on Wednesday, our first day of winter break, I prepared to install them. That’s when I realized they were an inch and a half too short. For real! I still have no idea where I went wrong. When I called Tony to tell him the problem, I was sure my inlaws would be sleeping in a room still under construction. Then I told myself to put my big girl panties on, and just get it done. That night, after I put EO to bed, I went to Home Depot for some 1x3s and headed to Dad’s to fix my error. We ended up building a frame with the 1x3s, cutting the MDF doors down even more, and fitting them into the frame. Sorry, there are no photos, because there was no time! We finished the doors the next afternoon, so I primed, painted, and installed hinges on Friday. That left Saturday morning for the install. Thank you, Tony, for routing out the grooves for the hinges and helping me hang the doors!
I am so glad this thing is finally (almost) done. And I absolutely love it. The only problem is that I can’t see it from the hallway! I guess I’ll be hanging out in the guest room a little more in the future.
My grandparents have this little black table in their entryway, and apparently my mom and her sisters have coveted it for years.
Well, Mom decided it was time they all had the table, and that surely I could build it. So on Black Friday I took a break from my wardrobe project, and we went to Home Depot. We were there at noon, and it was still a zoo, but luckily the lumber side of the store was mostly calm and quiet. That afternoon we cut all the wood and Mom used the electric sander to smooth down the tabletops and the electric drill to make the pocket screw holes.
The tables really went together quite nicely! I think the key was my new Kreg Jig for the pocket screw holes. We used it to build the legs out of a 1×3 and a 1×2. We just joined the pieces with the 1×3 facing the front, so you can hardly tell it’s two pieces of wood put together.
Mom took the tables home for wood filling,2 coats of black satin paint and light distressing.
My aunts were so surprised! It was fun to FaceTime with them right after they saw their tables!
So… it’s been nearly a month since my last post. Yikes! I guess that tells you just how much I’ve been able to complete since I returned to work… Besides the regular craziness of transitioning to working momhood, we’ve had some wonderful weekend visitors and even a baptism for little Lovebucket!
And then, Thanksgiving Break – Oh how I love you! I love the extra time with family and friends, of course, the delicious food, and the push to focus on all the many blessings I’ve received…
But I also love that I finally had a little time to focus on my wardrobe project!
To be fair, there has been some work happening. Right after I went back to work, Dad helped me cut the dados (pronounced day-doughs) for the drawer bottoms to slide into. A couple weeks ago I painted and put the drawers together, but then they sat in the dining room for awhile.
That’s not to say it was a blissful project experience. The wood for the drawers was a bit bowed, and they didn’t fit together quite as tightly as I’d planned, so everything was around an 1/8 of an inch off from my original measurements. And I didn’t install the slides level with oneanother the first time… Let’s just say there was significant grunting, muttered profanity, and even a frustrated tear or two as I tried to correct my various mistakes. At one point I just hammered the heck out of a screw that was too stripped to pull out. It was cathartic. In the end, I learned how to use another new tool (the planer) so I could shave down my drawers to make everything fit. And just 5 hours after I began, my drawers were all installed.
Climbing inside this cabinet to install the drawer slides brought back memories of the sliding shelves I made for the kitchen cabinets last January. It was much easier to do without a baby growing in my belly!
Up next: The face frame for the drawers is all ready to install, then I can do drawer faces and closet doors. Getting closer!