Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In Which I Rant About Playground Etiquette



Hello, Sun. Nice to finally see you. Didn't think you'd make it to this part of the country...ever.

Campbell and I have finally been able to consistently enjoy time outside. Poor thing, he has my fair skin. So even though I slathered him in SPF 50 today and put a hat on him, he still got a little pink.

We went to a nearby park, which was hoppin'. There weren't really any kids his own age there, but it's nice to just go somewhere. And not spend money on it. He's finally to a point that he is walking pretty steadily/trying to run, and homeboy is obsessed with being outside.

But the more I expose him to playing in public settings with unknown children, the more tense I get. Studies show that you can tell if someone is a dick-head by age 2. (Ok, maybe I made that up.)

This isn't to be a cynic and say that kids are cruel, because for the most part, kids are adorable and sweet. But I can spot a jerk child from 1 mile away. And that kid's jerk parents usually aren't even that close. (I generalize, I know.)

I've spent my fair share of time with kids of different age groups (what with being a teacher/preschool caretaker/volunteer/swim lesson instructor/etc), so I feel like I have a handle on what is a stage of growing up (i.e. tantrums and not sharing,) vs. what is just someone being a not nice person.

Example: Girl in sandbox yelling "NO!" at Campbell when he tried to play with some sand toys next to her - developmental stage.

Boy in sandbox shoveling sand through his legs without looking where it was going (right into Campbell's face) - Aloof?

Side note: his mom was right there and told him to stop, AND I QUOTE "because you're going to get sand in your shoes." Um, really, Mom? Not because he needs to not throw sand -- period. Because it could get in someone's eyes/mouth/nose?

As Campbell was climbing out of the sandbox, he tripped and fell on his hands and knees. We're still working on the steadiness. Anyway, he started to half-cry...not sure why, maybe he came down a little too hard on his hands, maybe the pavement was hot. At any rate, he wasn't really hurt that bad.

Then, out of nowhere, this little 7- or 8-year-old DH runs up, looks at Campbell and says "Ha-ha!" As if he was saying, "Hey little baby, I saw you fall down when you were trying to walk, and I found joy in the fact that you probably got hurt and that's why you're crying."

I gave him the dirtiest close-range* look I could muster and he quickly ran away. (*It's important to keep the dirty look close-range, so that any parents that are close-by can't see the look you just gave their child. But who am I kidding? They're probably one of the ones on their cell phone the whole time their kids are playing, anyway.) I don't know why, but I wanted to trip that kid as he ran away.

I was reminded of a scene from This is 40, where Leslie Mann's character confronts her daughter's bully. Here is the best quality video I could find for now, if you haven't seen it. WARNING: Foul (but hilarious) language ahead.

Guess what? This will be me. I will do this. If anyone, ANYONE, ever tries to hurt my child and he is not able to defend himself, you will see the Mama Bear come out. I know it's not the most mature thing to do, but I'm only human. And I know some things after being a teacher AND a Mom.

When I was just a teacher, but not a Mom yet, I had this very optimistic attitude about children. Even (and especially) the bad kids. I loved bad kids as a teacher. They were challenging, endearing, and dying for a positive connection with an adult. 

I thought, every kid has a chance to be a good person. And every kid deserves a chance to do something good. 

I still believe that to an extent, and that is largely a part of what teachers do for your children. That's for another post, but go hug a teacher (or don't, many of us enjoy our personal space,) but at least give them a kind word.

But what I also know is that kids don't just do whatever some random adult tells them to do. They need to have a relationship with that adult. They need to trust that adult. So for someone to think they can politely tell some random kid what to do at a playground, uhyeahgoodluck. Best case scenario, that kid will run off without responding in any way to your request. (As they should - Stranger Danger!)

Now that I'm a Mom, I see many children in the context of their family (i.e. look at their parents.) And what I think is that sometimes parents just SUCK. Sorry to be blunt and not completely encouraging, but sometimes, if a parent has no regard for other's feelings or existence, then their kids will easily follow suit.

And that's where that DH kid came from, I'm assuming. A big old DH family.

I hope as Campbell gets older, and people stop saying how cute he is (which, let's face it, is never gonna happen, because he will always be cute), that they will comment on his character. I hope they will tell me things like he was a friend to the friendless (I Love Lucy), and that he's a good helper. And that he pet their dog really gently. (We're working on not slapping, so I thought I'd throw that in with my wish-list.)

Basically, this was just one giant rant for me to say, even if your kid is old enough to play by themselves on the playground, watch them anyway. Look at how they interact with other children, and correct behaviors that need to be corrected. Don't assume just because there aren't any parents knocking on your door calling your kid an A-hole, that your kid isn't an A-hole. It starts young, people!

On the flip-side, if your kid is in the cross-hairs of someone who's a jerk, don't feel like it's your job to correct that child or anything. Just take your kid somewhere else, away from the rude brat. Especially if it's just some Rando' at the park who you'll never see again.

Have you dealt with playground jerks and your own kids? What's your way of dealing with them? OR is YOUR KID the jerk? 

Monday, April 29, 2013

My Chalkboard Wall and a Free Digital Print!

Free Art Mondays! I made it just in the nick of time!

But first.

Remember how last week I daydreamed about painting a large portion of my kitchen in chalkboard paint? Well, I did it.

Here's what it looked like before:

And here it is with actual chalkboard paint on it (not photoshopped):

I'm in love I'm in love I'm in love.

I told Kennedy that one day we're going to have a kitchen that's magazine-worthy and formal and perfect. But for now, it's gonna have chalk on everything.

And do you see that little doodle down by the floor?

Here's a close-up.

In between painting and priming with chalk (going over the whole surface with chalk before using it), little C-buddy walked in and put his cute little hands all over the wall. After I primed with the chalk, I noticed that it didn't cover his handprint, and now it's there forever.

I traced around it because it was too cute to stand, and now it looks like a little bear cub paw print. How appropriate.
I die.

And someone (ahem, Kennedy) has already started having some fun with the chalkboard wall.

Sounds appetizing.

I also used my new chalkboard to make some more free art that nobody wants.

Enjoy, Nobody!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bad Photoshop: My kitchen

I can't stop wanting to change things all. the. time. at my house. Which is weird because I fear change. But not really decor change, since I actually crave decor change, but fear life change.

Anyway, I know it's been done to death, but I am seriously considering painting a large portion of my kitchen with chalkboard paint. There isn't a lot of wall space anyway, and I'm not sure how it will look, so I decided to photoshop it.

Now, I will warn you, my photoshop skills are very, very good. It will be difficult for you to tell what is real and what isn't. Kind of like The Matrix. So be sure to read everything. Then you will know what is real and what is photoshopped.

Here. Let me give you a practice round.



I know it's hard to tell, but in the bottom one, I actually photoshopped Campbell's cute head onto a real baby bear. Because he couldn't actually climb a tree when that photo was taken. 

Another practice round? Sure!

What's real and what's photoshopped?

I know it's hard to tell, but the photoshopped part is actually where I put young Elvis Presley's face on Kennedy's body.

This is a real picture of Kennedy, for reference.

Ok, now on to the real stuff! Here are some photoshopped pictures of our kitchen to help me make a decision. And this is a rare moment where I will ask someone's opinion on something, so feel free to weigh in!

This pantry push-out is what I'm thinking about smothering with chalkboard paint. Why? Because I want to change something...

Here's what it might look like when I'm done and when we finally get around to tiling over that desk area...

And here it is from another angle...

For the record, I would probably move that framed picture somewhere else and just have the entire wall full of chalk art...Maybe a calendar or a menu? And C could use it color down near the bottom, since he's still under 32 inches tall.

So, thoughts? Is it too busy? For pictures of the rest of the kitchen, you can look here. It's best to have an informed decision. Please vote now.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Free Art Mondays! Let The Meat Cake?

So far, I'm finding it fairly easy to doodle something on the chalkboard to share on here... should it be a regular weekly series? Well, let's give it a shot, shall we?

Today's art is inspired by Marie Antoinette and cake. And I think it's one of my favorites so far.

Along with this, I'm trying to figure out if there is a place I can host my high-res pdf files to share where people don't have to sign up for an account just to download them...I looked at Google Docs but it seemed to take the image quality wayyy down. 

This file name is "letthemeatcake.pdf", which made me laugh when I looked at it, because someone could easily interpret that as "Let The Meat Cake."

Or is that just me projecting my own hashtag illiteracy onto everyone else?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How I Weaned My Breastfed 1 Year Old

That post title makes me laugh, because I am no expert. I am also not a breastfeeding activist (I am pro-breastfeeding, yes, but I am also pro-bottle-and-formula feeding. I am just pro-feeding your baby, I guess.)

Many people do not run into problems weaning their babies from breastfeeding. For one, they might wean the baby while they're still bottle-fed, so in my opinion, that makes it a little easier to give them the old milk switcheroo.

But if you're like me and stopped giving a bottle, but exclusively breastfed until they were well past 1 year, then you've come to the right place.


First of all, let's talk about why I decided to wean C-buddy.

I had told myself forever that once we hit a year, I was done breastfeeding. I was very limited in the things I could do, and was especially paranoid about the things I ate and drank. Even when it came to my Dr Pepper addiction. I felt like I had to time my caffeine consumption so it wouldn't interfere with my milk production and mess up his sleep. (After reading a lot, it seems that caffeine doesn't necessarily get absorbed so easily into breast milk, but I was still super cautious about it.)

When a year hit, I actually was thinking, I'll just go until he doesn't want it anymore. At this point, he was still nursing 5 times a day. Here is what his schedule looked like at 1 yr:

5 or 6am - nurse and go back to sleep
8:30-9am - nurse and wake up for the day (Um, yeah, who wouldn't want to get up for the day at 9?)
9:30-10am - eat solid foods (breakfast)
11am - 1pm - nap #1
1pm - nurse
1:30pm - solid foods (lunch)
3-5pm - nap #2
5pm - nurse
5:30 or 6 pm - solid foods (dinner)
7:30-8 - nurse and down for the night

Do you see how I was pretty much just feeding this child all day long? He nursed 5 times a day! Nursing him would take about 10 minutes, so it wasn't too bad, but then I just had to turn around and prepare a full meal of solid foods as well. It was exhausting/baffling/all-consuming.

On top of that, at his 1 year check up, we realized he actually had lost a few ounces from his 9 month check up. The Dr. said it was time to start him on cow's milk, and he would probably wean himself off in a month or less.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Finally, in lieu of an upcoming vacation that Kennedy and I would be taking mid-May, in which Campbell would be left behind with my parents, I decided I had better start weaning him.

I feel like I tried a bunch of different things, and he just wasn't wanting to give it [breastfeeding] up. And maybe part of it was that I wasn't really ready to give it up either, so I definitely didn't give it 100%.

Here are some steps we took that worked to wean the boy. Maybe you've already mastered some of these steps. Hang in there; there might be a tip in here that you haven't tried yet.

1. Introduce a sippy cup

Introducing a sippy cup was super frustrating, mainly because he had never used one before so he was confused by the whole thing.

No Campbell, shaking and throwing the sippy cup are not its main functions.

We tried about 3 or 4 different cups, then I found out they made sippy cups with straws. Why not? Let's give it a shot. And that was it for him! I think the sucking motion was more familiar to him (TMI?) and he also didn't want to tilt his head back while drinking. He wanted to be able to see everything.

Now, I say it like he just went to town using the sippy cup all of a sudden but that's actually not the case. It was more like, he didn't scream and cry when we took the straw sippy cup out. And he would hold it for a minute without looking completely offended.

2. Cheer for the new cup and the child using the sippy cup

Toddlers are such narcissists. But this worked to our advantage.

First, anytime Campbell would hold the sippy cup, unsolicited, we made a big deal about it.

"OOOOOOHHH...cool cup!"
"You're such a big boy with your sippy cup!"

And if he wouldn't touch the cup, Kennedy and I would hold it and cuddle it and cheer for each other. I swear. I'm not making this part up.

How do you know it's working? The proud toddler grin, of course. And the fact that he keeps going back for it. So at this point, he wasn't necessarily drinking out of it. He might have put it up to his mouth a couple of times, but we praised him just for being near the cup. 

(P.S. This is the kind of thing I used to think parents were nuts for. "People need to stop making such a big deal about little things around their kids...kids are already spoiled enough." That was before I had a kid. Now I know, parenting is just one big psychological game.)

Then, we stopped praising him for holding the cup, and started only praising him if he took sips from the cup.


I'm sure if there were hidden cameras in our house, you'd be like: 1) These people are psychotic, and 2) Do they literally wear the same clothes every single day?

(Yes, btw.)

Ok, now let's move on.

3. Offer the cup or solid food before the breast. Every single time.

This one ripped my heart out.

4. Change your surroundings.

I used to get C up from his nap, then sit with him in the rocker and nurse him, then we would go downstairs.

So he associated that rocking chair with nursing. That meant, if I offered him the cup while sitting in the rocking chair, he would get PISSED.

"WTF do you mean, drink from the cup? Where are we? Who am I? What does it all mean?" -C, after being offered a drink from a sippy cup while sitting in the rocking chair.

So what I started doing instead, once I wised up, was getting him from his crib, distract distract distract while I changed his diaper, then made a beeline for downstairs to his high chair. Then I would offer him solid foods before anything else. He would eat because he was used to eating when he got in his high chair. Then his little tummy would be full or semi-full and he wouldn't necessarily need to nurse.

I definitely caved a few times if he was whiny or fussy and just went ahead and nursed him after he ate. But I would try to offer the sippy cup with milk in it before that.

*Note: Campbell was repulsed by cow's milk at first. So I actually had to start with coconut milk and slowly added cow's milk over time...changing the ratio every few days until he had only whole milk in his cup.

5. Drop a specific feeding. Lather/Rinse/Repeat

Here's where I started actually weaning, I think. I finally decided to flat out not breastfeed him for one of his feedings (the same feeding every day.) After a day or two, he didn't even expect it. Then I dropped another. And another.

Finally, I was down to 2 feedings a day... the 5 am feeding and the one right before bed.

Then, I got Kennedy to put him to bed for a couple of nights, and he had his sippy cup with milk on hand IF he acted hungry. And surprisingly, he dropped that feeding pretty easily.

He stuck around with the 5 am feeding for a week or so, maybe 2. I can't even remember how long I was just feeding him once a day. If he woke up at 5 or 6, then I nursed him and put him back down. The main reason was because I didn't want to get up for the day at 5 or 6, which is what I would have to do if I didn't nurse him.

But then, one morning he slept until 8 am. So I got up with him and just took him downstairs for breakfast.

Then the next day, 8:30 am. Then the next, 5 am. So I nursed him again.

Then we went like 1 day on, 1 day off. And finally, he just started sleeping til 8 or 8:30 without waking up. I honestly don't even remember when our last nursing session happened. I thought it would be more dramatic than that, but it wasn't.

And so far, he has been sleeping from about 8pm-8am since we stopped breastfeeding. Amazing. I literally thought that would never happen because he has never been the best night time sleeper.

I'm not saying that he is sleeping through the night now because we stopped breastfeeding, but I AM saying that there were some nice trade-offs when we finally stopped.

Now I have a full-blown whole milk-a-holic child. Anytime he sees his sippy cup, he whines for his milk. I actually have to hide the sippy cup out of sight sometimes so I can get him to eat a meal.

Now here are some tips, summed up in one spot after my long-winded post about weaning!

  • Try dropping one feeding at a time and replacing it with food or a meal that the child is already familiar with/enjoys. (For example, if you normally nurse right before bedtime, give them a snack 20-30 minutes before bedtime so they won't be as hungry. Also, make sure they're really tired when they go down for the night so it outweighs the want/need to nurse.)
  • Change up your routine slightly. If the child is used to nursing in a specific place or at a specific time, go to a different place and feed them a snack. Or have the other parent handle them at the time that you would normally breastfeed.
  • Give yourself permission to be done. This was hard for me because it was our special bond. But I also knew in our specific instance that he was needing more than I could offer him anymore, and that I couldn't keep going on like that and then abruptly stopping when we went out of town. We have enjoyed many new special bonds since I stopped nursing, and he has actually become much more affectionate with not only me, but Kennedy as well since I stopped.
  • Enlist help from your partner. Or if there is not another parent to help, have a family member or friend around (that the child trusts) to do the normal routine sans breastfeeding. Remember, out of sight out of mind. Sometimes when Kennedy was putting C down for the night and I was in the room, Campbell would cry and want to come to me to nurse. So I had to high tail it outta there or all my hard work went down the drain.
  • Stick to your guns! If you are serious about weaning, then just stick with it. I think I waffled back and forth for a while and that's why it took 2.5 months to fully wean him. It might not be the smoothest transition, but if you stick with it and are consistent for a few days, the child will stop expecting it. Slap in the face, I know. How easily they forget our maternal sacrifices!
Do you have any weaning tips for toddlers that weren't covered here? I found almost no resources on how to wean an older baby when googling it.

Spring Cleaning and Breastfeeding

The word "breastfeed" appears 12 times in this blog post. "Breast milk" appears 4 times. You've been warned.

I've been making a small to-do list most days with my goals for the day. Checking things off a list just does it for me. They're small tasks, easy to complete in a few minutes, and then maybe one big thing that needs to get done. I don't usually finish all of them, but that's ok. If I check most of the things off my list, it makes me feel like a successful and accomplished woman. It also makes me feel skinnier and more tan. And my pores shrink and my split ends go away.

I don't know how it happens, but it just does. Scientists, get on that study, wouldja?

I've been putting little organizing projects on my list every day too, so maybe in the next week or so, I'll have a bunch of newly organized spaces.

On my list today is:

  • Clean out the freezer (check)
  • Finish a sewing project for an unnamed unborn baby
  • Laundry (half-check)
It's only noon and I'm half done with my list! PLUS I FIXED MY HAIR TODAY AND IT'S ONLY NOON!

Anyway, you wouldn't believe what was in our freezer forever and ever! I had tons of homemade baby food frozen in cubes in there. Green bean and Peas that C would never eat because I didn't cook them enough before pureeing them. 

Oh, and 60 oz of expired, frozen breast milk.

TMI ALERT! (What, I should have said that before I started talking about breast milk? My bad.)

Well now I'm going to talk about breastfeeding so feel free to look away if you want.

Fun fact: I breastfed C-buddy (trying out a new nickname...I think I like it for this toddler stage,) for 14.5 months.

Fun fact 2: C-buddy stopped using a bottle at right around 6 months. 

That means I was with him for every single feeding for 8.5 months. This is crazy to me, as I sit here and write that. What was I thinking?!?! It is literally a blur to me.

I do know that when it was time to transition to the sippy cup, there was a bit of a struggle. A 2.5 month struggle (since stupid me, I thought I could just stop feeding him on his 1st birthday and he'd magically know how to drink out of a sippy cup and enjoy cow's milk.) You live, you learn!

After the initial 6 weeks of pure pain I endured while breastfeeding (I like to think of it as a trade-off...I got an epidural during labor and literally felt nothing while giving birth, but made up for it while breastfeeding,) I loved it. Especially when I went back to work, and it gave me some quiet, alone time with *C-baby in the evenings. 

*Note: He was a baby back then, so that nickname is past-tense.

I thought I'd try to breastfeed as long as possible, but also knew that it would probably be more difficult when the new school year started, as I would more than likely have a different schedule.

Then Kennedy got a new job, then we moved to Indiana and I got a new job as a stay-at-home mom (which is another post for another day.)

Then I decided, I'll just keep breastfeeding til he's a year and stop. By then it was sooooo much easier than bottle feeding (to me.) I didn't have to clean any more bottles which was glorious. I couldn't be away from him for very long, but that's ok because maybe I'm kind of clingy anyway. (Catch me on the next kid and ask me if I still feel the same way about not having any free time, haha). But the point is, cleaning bottles is the absolute worst.

Then C was about to turn 1 and I started getting sad, but also planning all the things I could do by myself. Like, get a hair cut (still hasn't happened,) go get a mani-pedi (check!), go to Target and just stroll through the aisles without a sense of time (uh, will this ever happen?)...

I don't know where I was going with this. But this is what happens when you clean out closets and freezers. You see something that makes you sentimental and you just need to start reminiscing out loud about it or you won't get anything else done the rest of the day. For me, seeing my expired, frozen breast milk made me feel nostalgic.

Here is one thing I do know. While I was breastfeeding, it was the most beautiful and magical thing in the world. I thought, no one realizes what a miracle this is, that my body is nourishing him completely!

Now that I'm not breastfeeding anymore, it kinda creeps me out. I don't know why, maybe just thinking about having to go backward is weird? Yeah, that's it. Because I don't think I'm creepy for breastfeeding. And I don't regret any of the time spent on it.

I'm so glad I didn't preach the gospel of breastfeeding while I was in the midst of it. I bet that is pretty obnoxious to people without breast milk.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sun's Out, Fun's Out: A Free Printable

I'll make this quick because Campbell is in his crib awake, waiting for me to get him up from his nap. He's not crying so I have a few minutes!

Is the Sun out where you are yet? Right now, all we have are clouds. Clouds threatening rain. And a 1-yr-old with his nose pressed to the glass, just waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Metaphorically speaking, of course, because I just told you he's actually in his crib right now.

Anyway, I drew a new chalkboard picture! This thing was a pain to make digital-ready. Usually I can just convert it to B&W and it instantly looks more crisp. Not so with the colored chalk! So, you're welcome. Click the link below to go to the download page!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I spray painted an entry table, and I liked it

Tonight we had a conversation about what type of movie to watch. It went like this.

Me: I wanna watch a rom-com.
Kennedy: I recorded the newest Spiderman movie on our DVR.
Me: No, that's not a rom-com. I want to watch a movie where everything and place is beautiful and Kate Hudson is there.
Kennedy: We can look at Netflix when we get home.
Me: OK!

Skip to now, and somehow we are watching Man on a Ledge (starring Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks.) This is not romantic, nor is it hilarious. And wrong blonde. How did I get roped into this?

In honor of Spring, I made a long-term to-do list of things that need to get done around the house. I have been steadily knocking things off the list a little at a time, and I'm over half-way through! Little things like touch-up paint in the kitchen, adding drawer pulls to the island, and painting the front entry table.

Today I painted the table. It was white before, remember?

Today we went to Lowe's to pick up a paint sample, because I had planned to just use that to paint the table. I also had a can of clear spray paint in my cart to give it a shiny top coat, since the paint samples come in satin.

While waiting on the paint to mix up, one of the other paint guys comes up, looks in my cart and asks what I planned on doing with those things. He seriously said it like he should have followed up with "young lady." He then proceeded to tell me how paint samples aren't "real paint" and that it would peel off in 2 days. "It's basically water with coloring in it," he said.

I tried to remain polite, despite the fact that I was basically getting lectured about using a paint sample instead of "real paint." BUT I STOOD MY GROUND. "I'll give it a shot anyway," I said.

As I was walking away from the counter, a second paint guy asked me if I was going to try to paint something with it, so I lied and gave a vague answer how I was going to use it to see if it was the color I actually wanted. HE LECTURED ME TOO. I can only assume they talked to each other about my poor decision to paint furniture with a paint sample. 

All I know was, I left the paint counter with my paint sample and clear spray paint with every intention of using them. But they had gotten in my head. So I went to the spray paint aisle, (obviously circumventing the paint counter guys, because I was mad at them for lecturing me) and luckily found the exact same color and brand of paint that I was gonna get, in a spray paint.

Long story just to say, I spray painted this dresser. It took 1.5 cans. Peacock House by Valspar, if you're interested.

Like. Can't decide if I want to change the knobs, but probably. Yes, I probably do.

Now all I need to do is rip off that Pottery Barn mirror I talked about in this post and maybe I can be done with the foyer for a while.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Yakkity Yak (Front Door's Black): Foyer updates!

Kennedy and I got the DIY bug this weekend, and crossed a ton of things off our to-do list. Specifically, the foyer to-do list.

I don't think I ever shared the listing photos of the foyer when we moved in. So here are those now:
Although, if you have read my blog in the past few weeks, you're no stranger to the mmmMustard color walls. (I have a job fantasy where I get to name all the paint colors. I think mmmMustard would be a perfect paint color name.)

And here it is from the upstairs landing. Look how TALL the ceilings are. This is the main reason we lived with the mmmMustard for so long. We are both afraid of heights. But for some reason (I think it's the Spring air,) Kennedy got the painting bug and finished what we started over 2 weeks ago when we painted the upstairs hall.

Then I decided that picking such a neutral color (Grey! Surprise!) made the front door fade into oblivion. Maybe not oblivion, but if I can't be dramatic about the color of my front door, what can I be dramatic about? 
Terrible iPhone pic, but you get the idea. Also: New IKEA rug!

Apparently, Elvis thought I was taking his picture. He's so vain.

He's still there...

And the after:

(Because Cece is underrepresented in this family.)

And more of the entry way...

So that's my progress with the entry way. Now I have a couple of DIY projects planned, that I hope to tackle soon. (Also, I'm so thankful for pictures, because now that I have one of my entry, I realize how off-center the dresser and mirror are on that wall. Note to self!)

First on the list is re-painting the dresser. I got that thing on craigslist like 4 or 5 years ago, and it looked like this:

 It was probably the first piece of furniture I ever painted. You can read about that here.

Well, now I want to go back to green. Not avocado green, but EMERALD. Here's a picture of the color I have in mind, thanks to Pinterest!

And I had already been thinking about a mirror like the Pottery Barn Eames mirror for above the chest, and that picture just confirms that I NEED TO DO IT.

There are several DIY tutorials for the mirror out there, so I plan on utilizing one very soon. It will be good to balance out the black from the front door.

The End. I'm on a DIY roll, so stay tuned this week for more updates!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring has sprung

I'm so glad to have the dreary-wearies of winter behind me. Finally.

Sometimes the grey skies and snowy weather make you forget that you are ALIVE and CAN DO THINGS. Thank you Spring, for reminding me of this.

Coincidentally, (and not ironically, as I ready about today - Thanks Michel!) Campbell's preference for walking happened right around the time that Spring sprang.

What a fun and terrifying time for us! Fun because yay! He can walk! I don't have to carry him everywhere! Terrifying because oh no! He is still figuring out how to fall gracefully. And aren't we all? A lot of his falls end up in a face plant. But don't we all?

Anyway, we've been spending some time out back (as in, our back yard. Not Australia.) And I finally had the bright idea to grab my camera and use it. After forgetting it on our trip last week to meet baby Audrey for the first time and for Campbell to meet my family in Kansas for the first time. I can be absent-minded about documenting such milestones on a nice camera. I blame Instagram.

Since roughly 90% of you readers are family members who are probably logging on only to see pictures of Campbell, I thought I'd finally indulge you. WARNING: REDUNDANT PHOTOS AHEAD. It's my right as a mother and a blogger. Enjoy!

Down the slide...

...Again and again. He is slide-obsessed.

Spitting image of his Daddy right here.

Just hangin' out (hahahahahahahaha)

Oh man. Mid-chuckle with those chins and cheeks. Simply irresistible to me.

Sully, I SWEAR, this was not staged. They were walking to pick up the ball. I'm melting! I'm melting! What a world. (Name that movie.)

Elvis acting like a dog for once.

Elvis'll be so embarrassed that I posted this on my blog. He's got crazy eyes.

"Here you are, Father. I've found a crunchy leaf for you."

Walking with determination. I mean. Look at that face. I don't know how I get anything done, when I have those cheeks to kiss all the time.

Was that a gushy enough mom post for you? Because believe me, I actually practiced a great deal of restraint. 

Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Upstairs Update from Super Mom

I feel like I have accomplished everything except working out today. Go ME! (Because sometimes you just need to give yourself a pat on the back, ya know?)

Among the things I've accomplished today:

  • Made dinner
  • Played with/entertained a toddler
  • Drove to McDonald's with a toddler and 2 dogs in the car
  • Made some DIY art
  • Framed said art
  • Disciplined a toddler (time-out time, y'allllllll)
  • Decorated our upstairs hallway
That's an impressive list, especially since I am choosing to not share pictures of what the rest of my house currently looks like. Read: It's a disaster. But I don't care because I'm just gonna hang out in the hallway for a bit anyway!

So I don't have a great picture of the hallway before, but it was just a run of the mill hall. Some doors, some walls, this color:

Click here to read about those floating frames using some instagram photos.

The newly painted landing wall...If you look closely, you can see some stripes. I did that using the same wall color, but different finishes. (I kept it cheap by painting the stripes on using a paint sample for like $3. It only comes in Satin finish, and we buy all our wall paint in an eggshell finish.)

Just to the left of the landing is a big wall, with the art I made and framed and hung today.

Art close-up. I'm considering this art a "place-holder" until I can put in it what I really want. It's kind of plain, but it brings color up to the hall and fills that wall. Plus it was super cheap because I already had the frames. I just colored on some paper with oil pastels, and then smoothed it out with my hands.

A view from the master bedroom, looking out. There you can see the DIY mirrors I made on the left.

Oh yeah, we still have the rest of the foyer to paint. I'm not sure what we're waiting on. Probably a growth spurt where I grow 14 ft.

Now on to parenting things!

Today I decided to start "time-out" with Campbell. It's not something I was looking to do just for the fun of it, but I think the time is right. He's been testing limits a LOT in the past couple of weeks. We've mostly been trying to just correct and set limits, but guess what?

I've had ENOUGH of him throwing all his food on the floor for fun. Not fun anymore, Campbell. Not. Fun. Anymore. 

So the first couple of times he threw some food down I told him "No, don't throw your food." About the 3rd time when he looked at me, then threw it down, he was taken out of the high chair and put in the corner.

Repeat 4 times. Crying. Screaming. Begging. Pleading. (That's how I knew he knew.) I tried to say very little except, "don't throw your food." (Is there a Yo Gabba Gabba song for this yet?)

When the crying stopped, I wiped my eyes and put him back in the high chair. Kidding, guys. I didn't cry this time. I just asked him if he wanted more food, which he responded with the "more" sign. I put him in the chair and he finished eating without throwing food.

I could see it in his eyes. He wanted to throw the food. At this point, it's probably second nature. I had to remind him a ton of times, but he started handing me the food he didn't want anymore. 

I consider this a parenting win for the day. I know we're gonna go around and around on this one for a few days, I'm just praying I can stay consistent!

Parenting fail today: Letting him take a maraca in the crib at nap time. I put him down an hour-and-a-half ago, and he's still shaking that thing.
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