The Green Monster

Many moons ago, I revealed my first big DIY undertaking: Amelie’s green dresser

Even after 20+ months of daily use, I still am in love with it. It’s holding up so far…*says a quick prayer*

But here’s the thing. It wasn’t quite finished. And that super irked me.

Look reeeaaal close. Can you spot it?

See when I painted it, I skipped the inside because we needed the dresser to be DONE and filled with baby girl clothes instead of living disassembled in our garage. Little did I realize, the blonde edges would peek through at me. I’ve spent hours (days? months? years now?) sitting in the nursery holding Amelie, glaring at those “blonde roots” and they glared right back at me.

In addition, there was other unfinished business. I imagined perfect little baby clothes resting neatly and adorably in drawers lined with pretty paper. I spent waaaay too long searching for wrapping paper with the notion I would Modpodge it and Amelie would have the classiest green dresser in all the land. I couldn’t find “the one” and so I finally settled on wrapping paper I found at Target while Amelie was wailing at the top of her lungs. She hated Target as a baby. But then again, she hated lots of things: strollers, sleeping, laying on her back, car seats… I think she may have hated being a baby?

Anyway. On one very sleep deprived day, I decided I needed to finish the dresser so I could feel better about myself. When Amelie went down for her nap, I pounced and got to googling, cutting the paper to size, and modgepodging. I’ll save you the drama by summing up the experience: it was a total flop. The surface of the drawers was too glossy or something because the Modgepodge only bubbled and crinkled the wrapping paper. I could peel it off in shriveled angry bits. I CRIED OVER IT. I cried over the wasted effort when I could have been sleeping. It was one of those days, you know?

Fast forward a year and a half and I finally got the nerve to try again, this time with contact paper that I found on Amazon. This post is already too wordy for its trivial content but let me say that the contact paper was a much better option. It was still tricky to put in. I did half of the drawers by myself over way too many months and roped Hubs into helping me literally days before Cade arrived. One tip with contact paper, take a safety pin to make a tiny prick over any bubbles and smooth it out with a card. Works like a charm!

Surprisingly, the can of green paint living in this closet was still useable so I was able to paint those blonde roots green as well. Oh happy day!

Even though chevron was “so three years ago”, I think it’s fun that it coordinates with my diaper pail too:

Since Cade was two weeks early, I hadn’t had a chance to make room for his itty bitty clothes among all of Amelie’s clothes and accessories. While Dad took Amelie to the mall to play and Cade snoozed, I got to work. It always looks worse before it gets better…

And done! Like, done for real this time.

As with Amelie’s clothes, I only put relevant sizes in at a time so they can share the dresser. As they grow out of things, I add new items in and store the old. Here is how I organized it all, knowing it will change as they do.

How about a closeup so you can see the contact paper peeking through?

Boys clothes. I do love me some greens and blues!

Amelie’s accessories drawer – girl has got hair bows for every occasion!

I’m glad to have this project *finally* finished and everything PUT AWAY. It’s not super convenient since I set up a make shift nursery in the guest room to get us all through the newborn days but eventually the plan is to have the kids share this room.

Gotta run and smooch a baby now. Want to see a photo of him? Ok, I don’t mind.

Ugh, he’s the sweetest!

Home Sweat Home: Master Closet

The closet posts are here to stay for a while. You see, our master closet is one big continuous project. Not only are my wardrobe needs constantly changing due to getting pregnant/having a baby/nursing/not nursing anymore/getting pregnant again/having a baby/nursing/etc, but the closet itself needs a serious redo. It’s a nice sized closet but has an awkward layout. Actually, the closet itself isn’t awkward but the rest of the master bedroom and its adjoining “master bath” is. We have one bathroom for the entire upstairs, plus this odd second vanity right next to the master closet. Here is a picture from our inspection day:

I’m stuck between making a decent looking closet out of what we have or waiting until we redo the entire upstairs bathroom, which will include the second vanity and master closet too. I’m leaning more towards putting some cash into making the current closet functional (and hopefully prettier), knowing that in a few years, maybe even longer, we’ll have to start over with a major reno.

Brace yourselves. I took a deep breath one day and starting taking pictures. I didn’t hide our dirty laundry, I didn’t dust, I didn’t do anything. Here is my shameful closet in all its chaotic glory:

But behold! The door is painted Zinc! Go me! It’s the little things, right?

Inside, my side:

Inside, my side, top shelves (which I can’t reach so I “throw” things up there):

Inside, Hub’s side:

Inside, Hub’s side, top shelf:

And the “light fixture”:

I apologize for the crappy pictures. For one, it’s hard to take pictures of a small space. Secondly, it’s even harder to take pictures of a small space when you have a baby bump that prevents you from squeezing into any tight spots.

Here is what I did one day during nap time:

  • I pruned through my items and donated a bunch to Goodwill.
  • I put all of my maternity clothes in one spot for easy access.
  • Hopefully I’ll be nursing the new baby so I took all of my nursing-unfriendly tank tops and stored them on the top shelf. That freed up a lot of space and hangers. I’ll start to add them back in as the weather changes and/or if I feel comfortable nursing in them with a nursing bra (rather than a nursing tank, which I wore primarily while nursing Amelie). I had borrowed those nursing tanks but had to return them so I’ll be experimenting with nursing bras more this time around.
  • I put away my summer clothes along with the nursing-unfriendly tanks.
  • I organized the remaining clothes. I tried my best to keep like items together and arrange them in a way that the colors weren’t all clashy and angry with each other.
  • I dusted. It was gross in there.
  • I refolded all of my scarves, organized my hats and put my lumpy sweatshirts in a dresser drawer instead taking up room in the closet.
  • I addressed the laundry basket full of shoes and other miscellaneous items that had found their way there.
  • I took all of the baby stuff (potty, pack n play and bath sponge) and put those in Amelie’s mess of a closet.
  • Lastly, I removed any extra hangers knowing I’ll be adding a few back in as I revamp my closet after the baby arrives.

And the after?

My apologies for not noticing the Angry Shoe that decided not to cooperate with the rest by doing a headstand. I’ve since taken care of the situation.

My side:

You probably don’t care but…

My side, up top:

Because I over share:

Here is what I’d like to do eventually but probably not anytime soon:

  • Paint walls, caulk and paint trim and switch out hinges on the door.
  • Put in new shelving. Ideally, I’d love to have a combo of drawers, shelves, a clothing rod and shoe storage because the laundry basket full of kicks irritates me.
  • Buy a light fixture since this one is naked.

An aside, I didn’t address Hub’s side of the closet except for herding the dust bunnies. He can look over his clothes and organize them how he wishes when he wishes. However, I did attempt to make his side less nutty by removing items that didn’t belong there, hiding our paint/work clothes in a bin and corralling the empty hangers in another bin. It’s much better than before, pinky swear.

I’m sorry for the ongoing closet posts but it is really nice going into the holidays with a clean closet. It’ll be fun, rather than stressful, adding any new holiday scores to the mix now that there is space and order.

All of this closet talk lends itself to thinking/obsessing about my clothes. A friend of mine recommended this blog and I found the How To Build a Wardrobe From Scratch series very interesting. I want to go through that exercise and share it on this here blog for you all. Wouldn’t that be so super fun to spend precious minutes of your life reading about? We could even do it together! A working wardrobe discovering journey! As if we are friends in real life!

Hello?

Friday Tidbits

Not one of you asked how I came up with Amelie’s brilliant construction worker costume for Halloween but I’m the self indulgent type so I figured I’d tell you anyway.

It all began this summer when I was at Michaels and scored butterfly wings on super clearance for like a dollar. “Perfect!”, I thought to myself. “Amelie will go as the most painfully uncreative thing ever, a butterfly. And I don’t hardly have to use one brain cell to put this costume together. I’m the best mother of all time!” I figured I could pair any assortment of her mostly pink and purple attire with the wings and strap them on her back with string or something. Easy!

Later on in the summer, I was at a consignment shop and found an adorable pink leotard with a skirt. You’d think I had completely buried my Minnesotan/Alaskan roots because I decided she would wear only the leotard with the butterfly wings in LATE OCTOBER…making Amelie the most beautiful/generic butterfly-fairy-ballerina combo in the whole wide world.

As Halloween approached, I dug out those wings and started brainstorming how to tie them onto Amelie without it looking too hacked. I thought about fishing wire and pipe cleaners and pink string and ribbon, but it was all a little meh. Then three important things happened.

I made the mistake of showing Amelie the wings one morning and she immediately ripped out one of the antennas on the poor thing. Then, our little tug-of-war over the wings shook the bejeweled butterfly bodice loose. Besides being dumb looking, Amelie showed no interest after the initial maiming and I made the cunning realization that she would probably hate having this thing tied to her back. The next important thing. I got real about the leotard. Even though Colorado can actually be quite hot in October, it is at least chilly in the evening when little pumpkins in costume would normally be trick-or-treating. This Halloween was looking to be no exception. She could not just wear a leotard. Lastly, we were invited to a birthday party the weekend before Halloween. In Amelie’s birthday party treat bag was a plastic construction worker hat. And…BINGO! My brain cell had an idea.

I went to Facebook to see if anyone in the mommy’s group that I’m in had a construction vest we could borrow. Surely someone would and would be gracious enough to lend it to me so last minute!? The replies I got were “No but good luck. I’m sure you could make one yourself, it would be so easy!” WHAA? Halloween was approaching too quickly, I was very pregnant with little time and even less patience, crafts in crunch-time NEVER WORK, oh and I don’t sew, I only hot glue gun things.

Then I found this tutorial online.

I went to Michaels and bought 4 pieces of felt and orange glitter ribbon to mimic “reflective tape” all for a whopping $2.30. I followed the directions on the tutorial (loosely because I’m lazy) and glued it together with my glue gun. I had black satin straps from an old bridesmaid dress in my craft bin so I glued those on as “piping”.

I did pull out a needle and thread to attach the shoulder pieces to the back and did an admirably crummy job of it. I could barely believe it but this project took no time, no stress, no cuss words and I thought it turned out to be the cutest thing ever! Say you agree!

I’ve already patted my own back to excess but I welcome any extra accolades you may have to offer. Also, my sincerest apologies for stomping on the month of Christmas with wordy Halloween goober. Happy Friday?

He’s here?!

Our little dude, Cade, arrived two weeks early on 12.03.2014 at 7.16pm. WHOA!

He weighes 5 lbs 11 oz and is 19.5″ long. He has dark hair and obvious super hero tendencies. We loooove him!

So far, Amelie is not amused and she doesn’t he even know he’s coming home with us yet…

Also coming home with me is an “angry” butt nut the size of a walrus, tusks and all. I can’t wait to tell you all about it sometime.

Can you?

 

Baby Bump2 Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing another human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby (again).  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: 38 weeks! Ack! This is really happening.

Excuse the hair but lookie at my lady love!

Here is a better picture of my pants pulled half way up to my boobs. I’m adorable!

The Science: Baby Center recap – 38weeks. I feel him moving around especially when I’m trying to sleep. He’s going to be a night owl, like Amelie was. He stomps/punches/headbutts? so hard on my bladder that it’s very difficult to get any rest. I’m getting up constantly to pee and having a hard time falling back asleep. I have had a few nights of good sleep tossed into the crummy mix and they felt AMAZING. But mostly, the nights are long and the days are longer.

Body morphing: I had my “36 week” checkup by the time I was almost 37 weeks so that’s why my stats and blog/picture are a bit out of sync. I had gained 20-22lbs by my appointment last week, which is similar to my first pregnancy. I’m unsure of my exact starting weight so I included a range.

We discussed my options again and I’m still hoping for a VBAC. The baby is head down and she didn’t seem too concerned with my small size this time around. She didn’t even do an ultrasound, like I was hoping. Alrighty then? I’ll try not to worry either.

As the nurse practitioner bade me farewell, she said “Well, I hope to see you at the next appointment (Dec. 9th) but if you into labor before then, I hope he comes out of your vagina!” With that, the door shut and I replied meakly to no one “Me too.”

It’s what I want but that sounds so…uncomfortable.

Sexy stuff! A hemorrhoid. Really? Yeah, really. YUCK.

Food drama: I eat small meals and often but that’s it. No drama for this mama.

Exercising? I found it secretly hilarious when I was chatting with another expectant mama at her baby shower because we both got out of breath quickly. The babies be crowding our insides, you know. Don’t confuse her breathlessness with being out of shape, that mama is the fittest preggo lady I have ever met. On the other hand, my legs burn when I’m standing waiting for my coffee to percolate in the morning…

Oh this was about ME exercising? Yeah, I haven’t been doing any. I hope one day I’ll remember how to.

To Dos: I did find a dear friend that is willing to be “on call” to watch Amelie while my MIL is away visiting family. It’ll be tricky because Hubs will most likely have to shuttle back and forth, juggling Amelie, being with me and the new baby and taking care of my MIL’s dogs. It’ll be less than optimal but I’m not worried – we’ll all have to do the best we can with whatever this labor has in store for us.

At my last appointment, the doctor recommended scheduling a c-section date IF I don’t go into labor naturally when I’m full term. They cannot induce me because of my previous c-section. It was hard to figure out a date around my MIL’s work schedule as well as avoiding holidays but I’ve picked one…Friday, Dec. 19th. I still need to confirm they can get me in but that’s the plan for now.

Things I’ve gotten done? The Christmas tree is up. My Christmas cards are stamped, addressed, and mailed. My Christmas shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped, and those that needed it have been mailed. Instead of enjoying my forward planning, I have the urge to keep buying things because I’m second guessing every single purchase. I need to stop. Every year I do this – does anyone else?

As I mentioned last time, I want to keep making progress on house/life stuff, even if that only means picking up the house a little more aggressively after Amelie is in bed each night. I’m notorious for my piles of stuff everywhere, especially on the kitchen table, so I’m hoping these last few weeks will encourage me to put stuff away. Although unlikely, I’d love to finish some of the projects I’ve started but stalled on – mostly painting projects. I’m also working on organizing my pantry and master closet, as well as cleaning out the fridge and freezer. At the same time, I’m trying to revel in what we have gotten done – removing the hot tub, getting baby boy’s clothes washed and ready for him, purchasing our new car, and doting on Amelie. My To Do list will always be there and this is a good thing. It’s a blessing, in fact. That’s living Life.

And randomly: Just for comparison sake, I thought it would be fun to include my 38 week pregnancy pic with Amelie:

 

 

Candace’s Crafty Corner: Gold Glittered Pumpkins

Hi everyone! I hope you had the most splendid of Thanksgivings. Mine was filled with delightful food and so much excitement that even Amelie couldn’t resist skipping her nap. That kinda made made for a tricky weekend but still, I’m so thankful for awesome leftovers and the help from my Hubby with our little lady.

Life is very very good, sincerely.

The only decor I put up for Thanksgiving was a clean table (a serious rarity) and this tray with my pretty “new” glittered pumpkins:

I jazzed up the previously all white getup with a little glitter and gold!

I bought the filler at Michaels on super clearance and layered on a few craft paints by Martha Stewart in champagne, antique silver and florentine gold. I should have been painting trim but who cares what the rest of the house looks like, right?

Ooooh, so sparkly. Do you like?

 

Home Sweat Home: It’s gone!

Remember when I told y’all that I was basically done doing anymore outside updates besides raking leaves and cleaning up dropped apples?

Well since the weather has been cooperative, we got one more To Do checked off outside. Let’s see if you can guess.

Here is a before:

 and now the after:

Bye, bye, hot tub! We posted it on Craigslist and two nice ladies (plus three professional hot tub guys) came to pick it up. They are pumped to have it in time for winter and we are pumped to be rid of the thing.

Our yard looks much worse having this big gaping hot tub-less hole but one day it might be a perfect spot for a garden when we remove the walkway to Nowhere. Sometime soonish (you know, within the decade), I’d really love to hire someone to help me put together a landscaping plan for the backyard that we can work slowly on, year by year. Maybe we’ll do sod next year until we can get a plan in place. Maybe we won’t even mow, like this past year. We’ll see!

It doesn’t look as though, but I have been raking out here. It’s slow going when you are in your third trimester of pregnancy with a “helpful” little lady who demands using the Big Girl rake while I scoop leaves with her sand toys. 

And it’s Turkey Day tomorrow! I’m thankful my Hubby is doing all of the cooking while I blog about important backyard updates.

 

Baby Bump2 Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing another human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby (again).  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: We are getting down to it…the finally stages! This is going to be a short update because there is not much new to report. My sleep is horrible; on several occasions I’ve woken up at 3.30am and couldn’t fall back asleep. I remember doing this with Amelie. I think Baby Boy wakes me initially with kicks and then anxiety sets in and my brain starts racing about everything. Or, I’m up 5-6 times to go to the bathroom. It’s exhausting and makes for a loooonng morning with Amelie.

The pose is cringe worthy but I am showered so I still consider this picture a WIN as far as bump pictures are concerned.

The Science: Baby Center recap – 36weeks. I’m a little nervous because my MIL will be out of town the week before I’m due. I know that it’s impossible to predict when this baby will arrive and she can’t be expected to sit around waiting for us. She’s got other grandbabies in her life to snuggle. We need to think of a good plan B for Amelie if I go into labor while Grandma is away.

Body morphing: I haven’t had a doctor’s appointment since the last update, so I’m unsure of my most recent weight gain. I do feel like I mostly look the same though?

Sexy stuff! Nothing juicy (pardon my word choice) to report.

Food drama: Hubs is the meal planner, grocery shopper and cook in the family. (Obviously I’m the blogger of the family, which is super important). He’s been focusing on healthier meals for all of us since we kinda of got in a rut this summer and fall. He’s been making outrageously awesome stuff – cottage cheese cucumber sandwiches on sprouted wheat bread with tomatoes, avocados and alfalfa sprouts? Yes, please!

Exercising? Huh?

To Dos: Good news, we have narrowed down to a few boy names! We decided on circumcision. I toured the hospital and pre-registered. I’ve started packing my hospital bag. We bought a bigger car! I cleaned out our old car. And I’m killing it on the Christmas front! I’m about 75% done with the gifts I’m in charge of which includes wrapping and packing up since I’ll be shipping most of them. Also, Christmas cards have been ordered -weeeee! I barely believe this but my track kids threw me another baby shower and surprised me with a car seat for Amelie. We are officially set if the new baby comes early!

My To Do list is now in the “would be nice to get done” category. Cleaning, organizing, finishing projects I’ve started, getting my hair cut and highlighted…

And randomly: Just for comparison sake, I thought it would be fun to include my 36 week pregnancy pic with Amelie:

 

Home Sweat Home: Another closet?

I know. Another closet. My blog is one of those keeps-you-on-your-toes-fascinating-kind-of-blogs, what can I say. And, I just started working on our master closet this week. That means the closet posts are not ending any time soon and I apologize.

Downstairs in the den, we have a mini closet sandwiched between the guest bathroom and the guest bedroom. Here’s is a picture from when we first bought the house:

Remember that paneling and blue carpet?! Oh my.

Considering the guest bedroom is missing a closet altogether, this mini closet is a workhorse. I was storing everything I could in it but the chaos and randomness was getting to me. Big time.

You can understand why:

Since I have so many house projects in progress, this closet was doing its best to keep the lunacy top secret. Just as before, I tried to come up with a purpose for this closet.

In the interim:

  • paint & supplies (so they don’t freeze in our garage)
  • the luggage that will fit (we have more that we are storing elsewhere)
  • gift supplies (bags, tissue paper, cards)
  • “in progress” house items that we are working on (hinges, toilet wax ring, smoke alarms, etc)

Here is my after:

Now, I had to keep the shelving as is and yes, it’s crooked. It’s not spectacular but it’s organized. I feel so much better. Like, a million times better. I moved all of the electronic items to the office so hooray for moving messes. The main problem I addressed was all of my paint, paint samples and supplies. I pruned through everything and I still have A LOT of paint. I’m hoping I can get most of it on the walls instead of stored in here for forever. With a baby on his way in a few short weeks, I think my expectations are a little high in that regard. If not, I figure Hubs and I can work on little projects when the baby comes – such as filling frames with art/pictures and hanging them, swapping out the hinges, etc. At least those items are contained so I can tackle something small without thinking too hard.

Eventually, I want the house projects to slow down and this closet to be instead used for:

  • gift supplies (bags, tissue paper, cards AND wrapping paper, which is currently living in the guest room)
  • craft supplies (I have a huge bin in the guest room as well that wouldn’t fit)
  • board games and movies for the kids
  • extra blankets for the den

The closet door has (obviously) been painted. I still have to caulk and paint the quarter round, as well as redo the shelving on the inside but it’s better than it was before! Weeeeee.

And we’re done for today. Have a happy Thursday, ok?