Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What is it?!

And how do I get rid of them?!

Last night after picking up Keira from my mom's, we happened to be outside. Keira was on her slide and I waked over to her little house, thinking I'd open the door for her and she'd play in there so I could change out the water in her little pool. Then I saw it. A hole. The size of my thumb.

Then I saw two more holes towards the back of her house. And THAT!

Needless to say I grabbed Keira up into my arms, flung open our door and yelled for Doug. He came out to look and we decided playing outside was overrated for the night. We couldn't figure out what is was or where it came from. It wasn't there a couple days ago and it was HUGE! And no, I'm not exxagerating, I had Doug confirm it. Even he said it was a good 2 inches long. 2 INCHES!! That's roughly the length of your thumb. Basically, a super-sized wasp. Yay.

Me being me, I grabbed my camera to get some shots for identifying. Then this happened.

Yes, the sucker started flying. So I booked my behind back into the house. And switched to a zoom lens. I'm not stupid. I wasn't getting any closer then necessary, but I wanted better shots. The first step to getting rid of the buggers is finding out what they are.


I saved the best for last. Stop now unless you're prepared for some up close (zoom) shots. If you know what this is, please tell me so I can eradicate the beasts. Thanks.
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Time for a Toddler Bed

We had originally ordered all the components that went with Keira's crib at the same time as the crib. Several months later, we had the crib as well as the rails for a full-size conversion. When the toddler rail was put on back order with no estimated arrival date, we ended up cancelling the order. We figured a rail was easy enough to get or make when the time came.


Well, it came. So I measured and Doug got the materials and cut it to size. Now, it was my job to stain & seal it. I used stain that we already had for our upstairs woodwork. It's fairly close to the color of her crib so I figured it'd be good enough. Then it was sprayed with lacquer.



Shortly after Doug put on the last coat of lacquer, it started raining. We had it under the carport so it wasn't in danger. Ha! The wetness of the air turned big patches white. Needless to say, we weren't happy. So I turned to Pinterest (where else, right?). We decided to try the ironing method. It works! Whoo! It didn't get 100% percent, but it came pretty darn close.


 
We let it sit the 24 hours it recommends and then we installed it. Keira helped. We took off the front of the crib.


Keira showed us how well she could climb into it herself.


Doug drilled the holes. (No, he did not drill through the floor, he was only marking in this pic)


Keira wasn't fond of the drill.

 
A few minutes later and it was attached. Of course, knowing how much she moves in her sleep, I made sure to move the spare mattress to catch her when she rolls out.


It's strange. I'm really excited for her to move onto the next stage and to achieve each new milestone, but I can't help but to be sad that my little girl is growing up a little more everyday.


"Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains. "




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baby Gear Review: Kelty Kids Country carrier

Doug wanted a frame carrier & ended up finding this one for a great deal while I was pregnant. It's pretty much been sitting in Keira's closet since then. Mainly because I tend to use the Ergo, a sling, or her stroller when we got out. Since today was so nice, I decided we should walk down the street for ice cream. As we live just off a rural state highway, this isn't something we do often. (we don't walk down it, we just cross it and the speed limit is 35.) Doug wanted to use the Kelty instead of the stroller for obvious reasons.

Since it was him doing the wearing, I asked him how it felt. He said it was awkward. Considering Keira kept leaning to the right to see around his head, that's not really surprising. And at 5'7", the frame is a bit long for his body, which meant the hip belt probably wasn't sitting how it should have been. The weight distribution didn't feel right but that could have been a result of the frame/height issue. Or the little monkey leaning way over.

He said he would use it again so that he can get a better feel for it. He's not sure it would be comfortable for more than short trips.

On the baby side of things, I didn't like how low she was or the way her legs hung. She was also lower than the shoulder straps, enough to bounce a good few inches, or even pull her arms up through (which my Houdini is pretty good at in her stroller). She really had a ton of room in there, so I may do a little modifying, say a seat cushion, for the next time.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baby Gear Reviews: The Crib

Yesterday, my friend Jayne, over at The Naptown Organizer, did a review on some baby products and it got me to thinking. Now that Keira is almost 17 months old, I thought it'd be a good time to go back and look at the stuff we picked and see just how well it's held up so far. So get ready for a bunch of these in the next few weeks or whatever. Don't worry, I'll still be posting about Keira and my DIY's, just throwing these in between here and there.


Doug and I viewed most products as investments because we originally wanted 3 or 4 kids and wanted the items to last. Without too many details, a miserable pregnancy and one Miss Keira later, we will most likely stop at 2. That's a post for another day, so let's move on, shall we? I reviewed some baby gear way back in the early stages of my pregnancy. Haha! What did I know, right? Funny enough, I've been re-reading them and we've stuck with almost all our choices. It was more info than actually testing to be honest with you, anyway.

All set up and waiting for baby.

Let's start with the usual first big decision: the crib. Here's the original pre-baby post. The Baby Cache Heritage. I fell in love with it when I saw it. I still love it. Well, there is one part of me that doesn't. My ribs. They downright hate this thing. You see, it never dawned on me that one day, I'd have to drop the mattress to kingdom come and lower my little 94th percentile kid down in there. Let me tell you, there were many a night I longed for the days of drop side cribs.

I'll be honest, this crib has gotten off easy. Keira has never jumped in it, climbed out of it, shook it across the room, or anything else. She's never left teeth marks, but since she only got teeth 2 months ago, that may change soon enough. Actually, it's seen more action with my occasional spurts of rearranging than from Keira. Hmm.


17-ish months later.

It's out of camera shot, but the monkey mobile still hangs above her crib. She loves to blow at it and make the little paper monkeys move (mommy helps). The mattress on the floor behind her crib (or beside, depending on your view) has been great for any tough nights we've had. She's very rarely in her room but I moved a couple bins to the floor holding some stuffies & some books. We're about to take off the front of the crib and attach a toddler rail so I wanted to make sure she had something to occupy her on any super early mornings.

Right. You know, she'll be screaming for me after they've been thrown around the room.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Magnet Board DIY

These projects may kill me yet, but I do enjoy them.

I first got the idea for this one from my friend, Nicole's blog post (over at The Kavanaugh Report. Check it out). She made this great matching family tree game for her son, Henry, to use in their Tot School. Well, I had the idea to make it magnetic. I have plenty of printable magnet paper. The problem? Our fridge isn't magnetic. Yeah, I know, it surprised the hell out of me, too. What is basically amounted to was Keira only having a small file cabinet side for magnets so I never bothered to get her the letter set (don't worry, she has some at Grandma's house) or any others.

Anyway, my train of thought just kept running, as it sometimes does. I decided, I wanted her to have something on the wall. It started as a cookie sheet, but I wanted it bigger. Then, (thanks, Pinterest) I went looking in Walmart for an oil drip pan. No luck. So I next went to my dad. He said he had a piece of sheet metal. Perfect! He trimmed it and smoothed the edges.

The next step was tougher. Paint or fabric? I really wanted something soft but it had to allow the magnets to stick. I also didn't want it to clash since I wanted to put it in our yellow hallway. I found this on clearance at Walmart. I have it hanging because I had ironed it and didn't want little fingers to wrinkle it. Again.

On with the show. How to attach. I like keeping things simple. The least amount of steps, the better. My go-to for years has been 3M Adhesive. It works. The only problem is, it really works. Translation, very little, if any, room for error. Needless to say, there was a good amount of planning before I even got started.

I figured out where I wanted it to lay, then used some clips to get a feel for it. After a day or so of figuring the best method of adhering, I got to work. I don't have pics because once I started, I had to work quickly but without error. Basically, stay focused. I chose to spray the entire piece of metal and smooth the fabric over from the top center outward. It went pretty well. I only ended up with a couple tiny bumps. To be honest, I wouldn't have been surprised with a few more. Here's a pic of it drying.

I let it dry and then proceeded to mount it on the hallway wall. I used the 3M tabs designed for Christmas lights. (I'm starting to think I should be getting royalties at this point). By resting it on the baseboard, the tabs hold it to the wall without having to worry about the weight or that the adhesive might not bond to the fabric. I did use several so I don't foresee it going anywhere.(It's mounted to the left because the door opens in that direction.)


And Voila! DIY magnet board. The test? Successful. Next step will be printing family pictures onto magnet paper.



Living the Good Life



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mommy Moments

In honor of a friend who just had a beautiful baby girl this past week, I've decided to post a few things to expect along the journey of mommyhood.

When you go to microwave your lunch and you find your coffee already there.

When you go to microwave dinner and you find your lunch.

Waking up in a panic when she decides to sleep in 15 minutes.

Having a serious debate over which is more important: shower, sleep or food (sleep usually wins).

Running to the front door, ready to kill whoever was foolish enough to ring the bell during naptime.

Jumping to full alert when she fusses, praying she isn't waking.

Shoving a whole cookie/cracker/any food into your mouth in the hopes that your toddler didn't see it.

Wanting to punch the clerk who keeps insisting you join the store club. 
Can't she see/hear the shrieking demon octopus you're trying to keep a grip on?

Wondering when a supermarket trip by yourself turned into heaven.

Realizing the only conversation you've had all day was "get down", 
"stop that", "give that to me", and "duckies stay in the tub".

Wondering what the hell you were thinking having kids, 
and then getting a hug & kiss that makes you realize it's all worth it.

The amazing feeling you get watching their first step & hearing their first word.

The big cheeseball smile on a face coated in spaghetti.

Watching her dance.

The way her whole face lights up and she claps for herself when she accomplishes something new.

Watching her sleep and falling in love all over again every night.


It's the most amazing thing you'll ever do or feel.

Congratulations, Nelles & Welcome, Addison Grace.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Couch

The first, last & only piece of furniture I ever intend to sew. It started as a good idea. Keira loves the little couch at my mom's. I had some cushions from my grandmother's old sofa and plenty of fabric so why not, right? An old sheet from Abby and a pair of dress pants handed down from my grandfather went quite well together so that's what I went with.


Well, quite a few days and many a curse word later, there was what resembles a couch. I'll include a few production pics to give you an idea of how it went. My seam ripper got a lot of use. 3 times, I realized I had either missed a step or managed to do something backwards.



Well, I forgot to put something rigid in so the arms flop over. I also somehow had less than I measured out and had to add a panel to the back. We won't even begin to discuss the rest of where I went wrong.




But she likes it. I suppose that's all that matter, right? she



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pigtails!!

Keira finally has enough hair! This morning I dug out the tiny elastics and while she wasn't thrilled at my putting them in, she otherwise wasn't bothered that they were there.