Friday Tidbits

I was hoping to have a DIY update for you but my progress is cyclical. One week, I’m able to hammer away during each nap and the next week, I end up spending all of my spare time trying to catch up on laundry and computer stuff. This week was a laundry and computer catch up week.

I do have a crafty decoration to share from Amelie’s birthday party. Now, I don’t pretend to have any sort of talent when it comes to hosting amazing parties paired with clever decorations. On the other hand, these two blogs put together beautiful tablescapes and throw such creative parties:

But since it’s a fun way to spend a few naps, I got my craft on for Amelie’s celebration.

A few weeks back, I whipped up a fringe garland for St. Patty’s day and thought the craft was too cute (and too easy) not to make another one for Amelie’s pink party. I spotted a fringe garland while I was at Target picking up party supplies so it looks like they are becoming quite popular. Mine was free since I had all of the tissue paper and curling ribbon on hand. I used this tutorial from Pinterest. Here it is (as well as a sneak peek of the project I am currently in working on- painting the french doors):

(Oh hai there, hideous wallpaper. Why do you have to be like that?)

Admittedly some of the fringes ended up kinda ratty but I still think the garland turned out sweet overall. It livened up our otherwise nutty kitchen. You can’t tell from here but I used pink washi tape (from the dollar section at Target) to dress up the stems of each fringe.

I also attempted a centerpiece/drink station. Of course, Amelie’s baby Nike Cortezes made an appearance! It looked a little different for her actual party – but I did my best to recreate it:

I lined the tray (quite poorly if you were to look close) with clearance wrapping paper from Target and wrapped up a few summer clothes that I had bought for Amelie, not intending them to be a birthday present but rather to fill out the tray.

The polka dot bucket was an Easter gift years ago that I hung onto just in case I had a baby girl! I had bought two more pink buckets that I was going to fill with annuals (that I would plant later outside) but then decided what I had was already enough. And paper straws make everything adorable, right?

I swagged (swug?) some balloons in the living room and called it a day!

(Sorry for the dark photo, one day I will understand white balance).

Nothing like mediocre decorations and even worse pictures to send you into the weekend, huh?

 

My Amelie

Age: 1 year and 1 week! She’s (almost) 20lbs of awesomesauce!

Her birthday was last Friday and we celebrated with a doctor’s appointment and 5 shots (poor baby!), plus time with Grandma since I had to coach at a track meet all afternoon and Hubs was out of town for a conference. Bummer, huh?

To make up for it, this past weekend we hosted a little birthday party. I decorated the house (with loads of pink, of course!) and picked up three helium balloons for Amelie to bat around and enjoy:

Although she looks curious, she was quite terrified of them! A total fail.

What was a success? One of our friends brought Amelie a singing birthday card – that was a hit! And once she warmed up to the idea, she thoroughly enjoyed her first cupcake!

Hubs and I were pretty whipped for the party on Sunday afternoon. Like I mentioned earlier, I had a track meet almost all day Friday and then was up by 4.50am for an all day Saturday meet. It’s so fun to spend my weekends at the track but it’s still very tiring work. Saturday night, Amelie was acting funny and up 5-6 times! She’s not a very consistent sleeper – we have a few nights a week like this. When she does sleep “well” – she usually wakes twice at 11pm and 5.30am. Sometimes she puts herself back to sleep, sometimes she needs comforting. She’s my needy lady, always has been. It makes for sleepy parents though.

The doctor gave her the clear to switch from formula to whole milk – yay! Amelie had no problem with the switch. She’s also allowed to eat anything but she still only has one tooth so we are trying to figure out how to give her a well balance meal that doesn’t take too much serious chewing. She loves sharing breakfast with Dad in the morning and he pretends to ignore the milk and soggy chunks that she drools back into the bowl:

She’s been quite physical this week – back to her climbing on everything and wrestling with Dad. It’s funny how last week she was big into books and quiet time. She also took TWO steps to Grandma!

Other talents to mention: dancing (!!!), waving with twirly wrists, scooting backwards on her tummy, putting caps back on things (or attempting), “putting on” her socks. She’s busy!

I need to sign off but…my adorable view from last Friday morning’s walk:

Birthday toesies!

My Amelie

Amelie is zooming up on her first birthday and Hubs and I are still married! Go us!

I have a lot to catch you up on: Two weeks ago, Amelie got her first cold and first tooth. It’s a sharp little thing! We are lucky it’s taken this long for both to happen but man, a sick baby is miserable. She was our happy girl during the day but the nighttime was hard on all of us. We spent a lot of time in the rocking chair snuggling. I tried to stop freaking out about how much we were getting up and just enjoy sitting in the dark comforting her.

We weren’t stingy with the Benadryl and Tylenol. Anything to help her sleep. Last week after she got over her cold, we had to sleep train again. It was far from fun. We let her cry for 7 minutes and then check on her and start gradually increasing the time in between checks. It’s not a whimper cry either. It’s a full-fledged snot flinging sweaty scream. It’s so unpleasant. One time it took her almost 2 1/2 hours to go to sleep. It wiped us all out.

This week? She’s been going down like a dream for the most part. It’s a rollercoaster.

New talents: clapping (!!!), can go from sitting to standing without assistance, pushes her cart while walking behind it, and kinda saying “Dada”! She was super chatty but has quieted down recently.

Just this week, she is really into books. BIG TIME. She points and grunts and sometimes gives kisses. In one of her books, a baby is crying and she offered him her nuk! AWWW.

We are planning a party for the birthday girl this weekend. I have a decorations (pink everything) to detract from our half painted kitchen. Think it’ll work?

Amelie has been screaming for over 15 minutes and looks like she’s skipping her morning nap today. Doesn’t she realize how much I need these naps?

Home Sweat Home: The Kitchen

Since I blabbed on and on about the island, I figured I should get you up to speed on what else has been going on in the kitchen as of late.

As a reminder, The Beginning:

Besides the island, there hasn’t been any earth shattering progress. But it’s starting to take shape…

GREEN: Progress.

RED: Still to address.

Sorry, this photo might make your eyes water.

Both doors have been painted and the trim is in progress. I’m annoyed that the fridge overlaps the trim on the garage door but Hubs did some investigating and we can get a smaller depth fridge that won’t look so ill-fitting. Replacing the appliances is probably a ways out for our budget, but at least it’s good to know. The overlap bothered me so much that I was considering tearing down the fridge wall and expanding the kitchen out. That’s seemed hard though. And scary.

Back to the updates. I replaced the brass hinges on the pantry door and updated the island, of course. Besides a a few new outlet covers, that’s where we are for now. For “phase 1″ the cabinets need to be painted, the pantry fixed up, the light fixtures replaced, as well as the kitchen window since it has a big crack in it (and 30 years worth of goober caked inside).  Oh and those awful countertops…

I’m brainstorming a countertop intervention.  A few ideas from YoungHouseLove has got my creaky wheels spinning.:

  • I love me some concrete countertops and this is my top choice, although I’m not sure if it’ll work with the grouted granite squares?
  • Another thought is painting the grout, since that’s the grossest part. It’s maroon and the granite is gray/mauve/pink. A nasty combo, indeedy. But is the grout paint food safe? I have more research to do.

Phase 2 (a long time from now), I’d like to replace the all of the cabinets, countertops, appliances and of course, rid ourselves of that cat door…

Friday Tidbits

Another home update for you to jump start your weekend! Stellar news, I’m sure.

This project has been in the “mostly done” category for a while now. Way back when I was working on this door, I figured if I already had the primer out I might as well get primer happy with everything else in sight. So, I attacked the kitchen island.

Let’s back up and let me remind you of how we started:

It’s doesn’t look so bad from here but trust me, it was an eye sore. It was greasy and grimy. The countertop was resting on top of the island with shards of shims and a gap so wide, I could stick a knife through it and it’d fall into the cupboard on the other side.

Here it is with a good cleaning and first coat of primer (sorry for the nighttime pics):

The underside:

See what I mean about the gap between the countertop and the island? And the splintered shims that were keeping everything “level” (on the right above the outlets)?

Even though I liked the texture of the paneling on the island – it was also shoddy. One of the panels was starting to pull off:

And the island itself was feebly connected to the wall on the side:

The round hole is from TV cabling the previous homeowners had. They had that cabling snaked through every room. They must have really loved TV. Anyway, I should try to patch it but I haven’t yet.

Moving on.

I pumped so much caulk in this thing. I caulked and caulked and caulked. (I hate that word, by the way. It’s so awkward.)

After caulking and another coat of primer, it was looking hopeful. I debated on what color to paint it. Something bright? Something moody? Black? White? But in the end, I just used paint I already had on hand: Gray Owl by Ben Moore (the same color as the living room). I also updated the outlet cover and *of course* I had to use an oversized one because they had cut the original hole too big. It’s always something!

So much better! As with everything, this project births another: the countertops and wood edging. I have a few things I’ve been brainstorming to pretty them up but for now, they are kind of half primed. I’ll be sure to keep you posted…

That was more than a tidbit, I admit! You deserved a beefy post since I’ve been MIA lately. Enjoy the weekend. Any projects on the list?

 

Home Sweat Home: Railings revisited

Remember my painted railing debacle? A few of you chimed in to help a sister out and so I went about repainting them.

I repainted them a shiny BLACK.

They are lookin’ riiiiiight.

If you can look past the blue carpeted stairs, that is. The color is Silhouette by Martha Stewart (in semi-gloss).

If you get up close, the high gloss of the paint really accentuates any unevenness, crappy putty jobs and gummy caulking. You know what, DIY is not suited for perfectionists. Is anything really suited for perfectionists? It has been very hard on me. I love DIY and it’s simultaneously driving me crazy. I got out a craft brush the size of a ball point pen to do touchups (wow, huh?) but no matter how steady and slow I go – I manage to get swallowed up in the Black Hole Touchup Cycle. You know what I mean: a little railing paint gets on the wall, then I have to touch up the wall but accidentally get a little paint on the railings which I go back to touch up and get a little flick of paint on the wall…

Over and over again.

I had to tell myself to PUT THE CRAFT BRUSH DOWN AND JUST STOP.

So, here’s where we are! It’s come a long way from this, wouldn’t you say?

Also, my apologies for falling behind on posting lately. I have nothing to blame except ineptitude. Love me anyway.

 

Friday Tidbits

Better late than never (like last week), right?

A friend pinned this on Pinterest and I thought it was worth sharing. That second to last paragraph gets me all sniffley! Considering Amelie’s naps went straight into the toilet today, this was a nice read to reset.

Speaking of littles, here’s mine enjoying herself at the local children’s museum earlier this week:

I want to smooch her constantly. She’d prefer I didn’t. Happy Friday!

Spring Cleaning: Baby Clothes Storage

Amelie is almost a year old. ONE. I can’t believe it. All along, I’ve been stashing the clothes she’s outgrown in a plastic bin from Target. Her stuff was tossed in there haphazardly so the other day I got to organizing. I bought half gallon zip bags and bagged the clothes by sizes now that I know how each of the brands actually fit since baby clothes can be nutty/confusing.

Admittedly, the bag system is flawed. The bags take up more room than if I were to just store everything loose. But if another little baby girl comes into our life, I figured I’d be grateful that it’s all labeled and organized. It took longer than I anticipated even though I had lots of “help”.

I also took this time to really look at Amelie’s clothes and keep only the ones that were free from stains (her spitty days ruined quite a few pieces) as well as the outfits I really loved or found extremely useful. I left room for my beloved newborn diapers which I’m currently lending to a friend but other than those, it’s pretty packed in there. She’s a spoiled lady. We store the bin under her crib. It doesn’t fit perfectly now that we lowered the mattress but it’s not something I’ll be accessing often so it’ll do.

 I was hoping to get the entire first year’s worth of clothes in here but with her bulkier winter items, it’s not going to fit. Considering just how hard it was for me to resist buying loads of baby clothes, I think I did a pretty good job of containing the madness for the first 9 months!

Yeah, that’s it for today. Sorry.

Update: I changed the title from “Baby Storage” to “Baby Clothes Storage” because storing babies is creepy.

 

My Amelie

Oh Amelie, you are so cute!

AGE: Just over 11 months

She has been proficient going up the stairs for a while now, although she doesn’t quite get that sitting down on them could lead to a big tumble back down…

Just in the last few days, she’s been able to stand briefly by herself for 5-10 seconds! She’s also getting better at cruisin’ (using furniture to steady herself) and her big thing is crawling up our legs when she wants us to pay attention to her. She’s especially clingy and needy in the mornings.

I made a batch of bran muffins to bring to my track meet this weekend and forgot to add the oil. Amelie adores them even so!

Amelie has a generous heart and has been giving Daddy kisses. You know the kind; the open mouth sometimes with an accidental lick involved. It’s ridiculously sweet!

She gave Mom one too, albeit a very reluctant one. She’s a Daddy’s girl.