Tuesday, July 29, 2014

elden's new room: the reveal

We're done! And I couldn't be happier! Jon is a rock star and finished painting the closet door while I was at work today so when I got home he could install it and we could hang everything up.
Initially we set out for a woodland theme for this room but since we had several bicycle items that matched the color scheme pretty well and the room was barren without them we decided to just go with it. We eventually want to add a few shelves to house Elden's books on the same wall his bed is on but that's on the back burner for now. The nursery will have the same colors on the trim, walls, ceiling and wainscoting but we are planning on picking up a few new items (carpet) for there in addition to some new items my mom is sewing for it. I am absolutely in love with his room and I hope it grows well with him.

The details:
  • bicycle pictures made by my mom and sister; reused from nursery
  • all furniture was second-hand from my work's classifieds
  • curtains were from our first apartment
  • bedding on clearance from Target
  • carpet from IKEA
  • owl everything was already owned and reused in this room
  • moose wall hanging from Target
  • deer head from Oriental Trading on clearance for $5

shopping with a purpose

I recently stumbled upon some new (to me or in general) socially responsible businesses that have ridiculously cute merchandise AND support great causes. I thought I'd share some of those items to help raise awareness of what is out there and to encourage others to consider purchasing their own accessories or gifts for others from these organizations that empower women across the world:

1. Stuffed Whale via Haiti Design Coop
2. Heart Pouch via Haiti Design Coop
3. Burnt Orange Sandals via Sseko Designs*
4. Native Wrap Bracelet via Noonday Collection
6. Bellflower necklace via 31Bits

Sure, you could always go to Forever21 or the like and buy a $2 necklace, but odds are you are actually exacerbating the problem of world poverty and unfair workplace conditions by increasing the demand for a cheap (and cheaply made) products. There are a lot of really cute and fair-trade products available if you just look for them. I hope to do some of my Christmas shopping from the above organizations this season and would be thrilled if you'd join me in pursuing some socially responsible merchandise as well.

*I own a pair of Ssekos from a birthday a few years back and absolutely love them. I also own a purse from Haiti Design Coop (formerly Haitian Creations) that is fabulous.

Monday, July 28, 2014

28 weeks

Week: 28.
Baby is the size of:  An eggplant.

Weight gain: Up 7 or 8 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight.
Cravings: Sub sandwiches. Milkshakes. Mashed potatoes with gravy.
Sleep:  Could be better, could be worse. I only get up once per night (usually) to use the loo.

Movement: Some days (s)he is a lot less active than others, but then on the active days it's like a non-stop fetus disco.
Symptoms:  I'm having a really hard time breathing/catching my breath these days due to baby being all up in my rib cage. This makes me feel a LOT bigger than I am. I'm also still popping antacids a few times per day.

Happenings:  Elden's room is done!! And he's living in it! His first night was Saturday and all things considered he did remarkably well. I'm just waiting to hang a few things (one of which has yet to arrive in the mail) before I take the final pictures. This means we get to start on the nursery. I'm also officially in the third trimester (we do NOT have enough time to get everything done, it seems), so I have to schedule my Rhogam injection for this week. Last but not least, we bought the newborn outfit for the beeb if it's a boy so we have both a girl and a boy take home outfit now. It's slowly getting more real but I won't believe it til there's a baby in my arms...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

on #3's sex

I've not been quiet about my belief that #3 is a she. In church the other day I was joking with Jon that I was going to make a Venn diagram to share the reasons why I thought this to be true--namely that this pregnancy is polar opposite of my pregnancy with Elden.

He laughed and shook his head. I Venn'ed.

We think we figured out how Jon's going to announce the big reveal to our families in the waiting room but until we finalize that mum's the word. T-minus 88 days til our due date!

In other news, we finished painting Elden's new room! We love it--favorite room in the house, hands down. He's less than amused. I asked him if he wanted it to be his room. "No, that's [points to old room] Elden's room." - so, methinks we're going to have an adjustment period...

Monday, July 21, 2014

the last progress update

All that's really left in Elden's new room is to finish a little bit of caulking, paint the top rail of the wainscoting, and re-install the doors/finishing touches. We even went and bought Elden's big boy mattress today! As such, I won't be publishing anything more about his room until it's finished, hopefully by this weekend.

to do:
-paint the ceiling 
-prime the trim x2
-prime the doors x2
-paint the trim
-paint the doors
-remove the existing light fixture
-install a ceiling fan
-install the faux wainscoting (half done)
-caulk the faux wainscoting (half done)
-paint the faux wainscoting (half done)
-replace the outlet covers (2) and lightswitch (1)
-paint the upper half of the walls
-give a facelift to the curtain rods
-install new furniture
-decorate the walls with the shelves and wall art we have

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

IKEA IRJA curtain rod hack

We've had these $1.50 IKEA curtain rods in our house since we got it because we had just spent all of our savings on our down payment and didn't have the money to spend on anything nicer. The round finials weren't my cup of tea and IKEA does offer cuter ones... but again, they add up. When given the choice between a fridge (which we happened to get off Craigslist for $150 and has served us marvelously the past 2 years) and pretty finials you know I'll always choose food. In any case, I figured one day I would be spray painting or doing something with these rods to class them up a bit.

Since we decided to redo the kids' rooms, I figured now is the best time to give it a shot. For this project, I started by spray painting the brackets, rods and finials with Rustoleum soft iron metallic paint & primer ($6.76/can) to tie into the dresser drawer pull makeover we completed. My initial plan was to super glue some branches over the top of the round finials to stick with our woodland theme, but that didn't go far because I figured it would look weird. Then I stumbled upon these guys at Hobby Lobby ($6.99 for 5) and Jon used a 40% off coupon bringing the cost down to $4.19. I had initially assumed I would just glue the spheres over the finials but Jon had the idea to use a hand saw to cut the circles off the finials and stick the nubs of the finials into the sphere. This was necessary because you slide the finials off to put on/take off curtains so if we had just glued the spheres straight onto the rods (Jon's initial idea) we never would have been able to get a curtain on or off. I digress. This ended up being a very easy project:
For the next room I will be cutting first, spray painting second.
1/2 of these spheres slid off easily from the sticks. I had to use some forceful twisting and pulling on the last 2.
I stuck the finial nubs into spots on the spheres I thought would hold it well and used hot glue around the contact points
new finial with a faux metallic rod
the end product
Once I get the curtains hung I'll post additional pictures of these guys on the walls. I'm really happy with how they turned out and if you consider that we already had the spray paint for the drawer pulls the whole project only cost us $4 plus the price of the rods - shakes out to about $3.50 curtain rods instead of $1.50 curtain rods.

Edited to add a hanging picture:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

getting there...

We made more progress on Elden's big boy room last night:
I still have half the vertical strips to paint still and I was hoping to do that after work before Elden came home from Jon's parent's today but he woke up with a 103.2-degree fever so I'm at home with an unhappy boy and will not be making any progress in the room this day...

to do:
-paint the ceiling 
-prime the trim x2
-prime the doors x2
-paint the trim
-paint the doors
-remove the existing light fixture
-install a ceiling fan
-install the faux wainscoting (half done)
-caulk the faux wainscoting (half done)
-paint the faux wainscoting (half done)
-replace the outlet covers (2) and lightswitch (1)
-paint the upper half of the walls
-give a facelift to the curtain rods
-install new furniture
-decorate the walls with the shelves and wall art we have

Monday, July 14, 2014

26 weeks

Week: 26.
Baby is the size of:  A head of lettuce.
Weight gain: Up approximately 5 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight, 13 or 14 net.
Cravings: Olive Garden, as always. At the moment not much else.
Sleep:  Heartburn wakes me up at least 3-4 nights per week
(thank you, baby Jesus, for Tums). And the urge to go to the bathroom. So sleep is not great.
Movement: Hiccups, kicks, punches. The whole gamut.
Symptoms:  Heartburn. I see the weight creeping everywhere, not just in my belly like with Elden, which reinforces my suspicions that #3 is a she. See also: happenings.
Happenings:  Welp, the pregnancy Gods aren't shining on me this go around. I have some mild (first degree) prolapse. I also have a slight umbilical hernia. My OB isn't horribly concerned about either one of these at this point in time but I am not supposed to do any heavy lifting. We will need to reevaluate after I deliver to determine whether I will need surgery for either issue. I also failed my 1-hour glucose test last week by 3 mg/dl (normal is 140 and below, I clocked in at 143). The huge slice of birthday cake I ate at work a few hours prior to my test probably didn't do me any favors so I don't anticipate failing my 3-hour test but I still have to do it to rule out gestational diabetes--that's on the agenda for today. Still thinking girl. Still feeling like a house.

Friday, July 11, 2014

dresser facelift - results

I don't feel bad for using my crappy phone camera for all these little updates along the way since I intend on doing the final room reveal with our good camera. The lighting is terrible so it doesn't give you a great idea of the final result of the dresser drawer pull makeover, but here ya go:
I'm contemplating lining the insides of the drawers with contact paper and I still need to buy a filler pen for some of the knicks on these guys, but I'm still so happy with what we bought! I'm not sold on the drawer pulls but they will do the job required and that's enough for me.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

giving some drawer pulls a facelift

We ended up buying a used 5-piece furniture set from someone through work for Elden's "big boy" room. It included a dresser, chest of drawers and nightstand that had some old drawer pulls that looked very 80s and were pretty beat up. We initially thought we would just buy new drawer pulls (I found some for a buck a piece which would have put our total at less than $20) but we realized 4 of the 18 pulls were shorter than the others and I was having a really hard time finding matching ones in two different sizes. I opted to attempt the lazy way out (which is also the cheaper way out) by spray painting the pulls instead. I also decided to try spray painting our $2 IKEA curtain rods to see if I could class 'em up a bit.
after - 1st coat
The drawer pulls turned out a lot better than the curtain rods - probably because I didn't rough up the rods at all so the paint didn't grip very well. It also didn't help that drying time to reapply was 30-60 minutes and I started this project around 8:15 pm... everything was covered in dew when I went to bring it in for the night. I did 2 coats on the pulls and 1 coat on each side for the rods and their accessories--I will need to do a second coat on these. I should have the pulls (which look a lot better than that first coat picture) put in the drawers tonight so I can post the final shots of those. I still have some grandiose visions for the curtain rods in addition to the spray paint but I'm not sure how that part will be executed (it involves branches).

In other news, Jon started putting up the faux wainscoting in Elden's new room yesterday:
It only took about an hour and we just need to add 2 pieces that he has to cut under the one window, caulk/fill the nail holes, and then he will need to cut the horizontal rails so I can paint them before we put them up. Once that's done I can do all the retouching I need to do, including a second coat on some parts of the windows. We're so close I can taste it!

Monday, July 7, 2014

raspberry picking!

I decided to take today off work to soak in some quality time with my guys. Jon and I were brainstorming fun and inexpensive things to do and landed on berry picking. I researched local farms and we decided to go to Marian Kay Berry Farm in Lodi. I'm so glad that's where we went! When we arrived we were greeted by one of the owners, Ron, and his two dogs. Truthfully, the dogs were probably the biggest hit with Elden the entire time as he kept calling for Lulu. Ron gave us a little tour of the farm and told us about all the different types of raspberries and blackberries they're growing. He set us up with some plastic containers and off we went! Elden ate just about every berry he picked, but Jon and I made up for that with 3 large containers. After we were done picking, Ron showed us the canning room they're building and told us about a really neat piece of equipment they bought. Essentially, once the canning room is complete, people will be able to pick their own berries, walk it over to this machine, and create jams and syrups out of what they just picked all in one step to take home! This sounds like a really awesome concept and you better believe we're going to go check it out when it's operational. He also let us drive a tractor with Elden on it (and, if you know our boy at all, you know how much that made his day) and gave us a sample of homemade seedless blackberry syrup that was to die for. Basically, it was the perfect thing to do in the area and the price was right ($8 for three large containers of delicious raspberries). We had the entire place to ourselves and it was just a really sweet experience for our little family.
Elden was obsessed with Lulu
Elden with Ron
I don't really like raspberries and we ate one of our three containers in the car on the way home, if that gives you any indication of how delicious these things were. Ron said the blackberries should be ready in a few weeks depending on the weather and we have every intention of going back once they are! If you're in the area I highly recommend going here for berry picking.

Note: I was not paid or commissioned in any way to do this blog - we just had that good of an experience and I wanted to give the farm as much publicity as my little blog can. :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

the garden

My mom helped me weed my bed that was in a bad way the other day, so I figured no time like the present to parade the state of our garden!

On this side of the house we have several grasses, lilies, a few bushes, and I just planted my strawberry plants here.
Not pictured: the three biggest plants in this bed that I thought were purple cone flowers. Come to discover, they're weeds that I've been tending to and nurturing since, oh, Easter. I don't have the heart to pull them just yet because I want to be sure they're weeds. Plus they somewhat look like they belong there, so...

I also planted my concord and green grapes on this side of the house:
I thought they were basically dead when they went in the ground so I have been quite pleased with their growth. I'm hoping either next summer or the one after we'll get some fruit from these bad boys.

Behind the garage, our other lilies are in full bloom:
I'd love to get more edging for around all of our beds, but that's just another thing that costs more money than you'd ever think and we need to be wise in our spending.

Finally, our veggie garden is doing pretty well:
We currently have: dill, basil, cilantro, parsley, garlic, 2 varieties of tomatoes, 3 varieties of lettuce, cucumber, parsnips, zucchini, and possibly a rogue patch of onions in my side bed growing, and we're about to plant some bell peppers and carrots. We already have the seeds and we figured we're not out much if they don't bloom because we would only be planting a few seeds. I've been impatient with the yield (I guess switching from small plants last summer to seeds this summer will do that...) and I am impatiently waiting to eat all the food. We've had a few salads with the lettuce and have used the dill frequently, but that's about it so far. I think most of our crop will be ready in August or September. Not pictured: our blueberry bushes in the front that indeed have blueberries on them!

Now all I need to do is weed the rest of the front bed and the island between our neighbor's driveway and ours and our yard will be in pretty good shape.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

23 months

Next month my baby will be 2 and wheredidthetimego? Independence is creeping into Elden's daily life with the insistence of 'no! I do it!' We also get to see a lot of stubbornness with that - meal time has become a major battle of the wills that often requires us to sing for him each time he takes a bite in order to get him to eat anything. My favorite times of day with Elden are after he wakes up in the morning and from his nap because he is a total cuddle monster. He loves drinking his 'baby coffee' (milk) still and gets so excited on the mornings I bring it up with me when he is getting out of bed. Elden is terrified of storms but loves cars, trains, and airplanes. He is curious and mischievous and loves to be gotten and to get you. We have suspicions that he may be color blind but it's much too early to know that for sure. He absolutely loves reading books with us and we probably read [the same 3] books ten times per day. Elden is a wonderful helper and is learning how to help us pick up his toys when we are cleaning. Each day is a big blessing with this kid and that's something we try to remember on the challenging days.

Notable Eldenisms:
*snatches pool noodle from box at Walmart*, looks at me before I can say anything and says very seriously, "I need it."
"Dada penis." - pointing to the breadstick Jon was eating.
*he changes the pitch of his voice when he beeps like a little car (higher pitch) and a big car (lower pitch)
 "I made bubbles." - after farting in the tub
"Pick up crumbs!" - pointing to the vacuum, insisting we clean the carpet together

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

the splash pad

Over the weekend Elden and I went and had a play date with Lisa and Hunter at the splash pad in their town. I hyped the heck out of this thing (related it to Elden as a 'water playground') leading up to our visit and the entire car ride Elden kept saying, "drive to water playground. Too fun!"

Once we got there, he was really uncertain the first five minutes. I think the fact that it was really crowded with a lot of bigger kids played into this hesitation. After the five minutes, though, homie was just elated.
Sadly, the main pipe to the splash pad burst around this time so play time was cut short. However, since I knew how much Elden loved the water playground I decided to setup our splash pad from last summer on Sunday when my parents were over.
Needless to say... it was a hit. :)