Monthly Archives: June 2014

Kids are Messy

Being a mother, I find myself caught in poopy messy situations quite frequently when in public.  It could be milk spilled on my toddler's pants, pasta sauce on his shirt, peanut butter in his hair, or even the baby having a diaper blowout.  It never fails that when I am out for more than a couple of hours, something happens and we run out of one of the diaper bag essentials.  Sometimes we forget to refill the bag.  Sometimes it is just one of those days where the baby goes through 6 diapers in two hours.  Regardless of the reason, there are times when I desperately need another diaper, some wipes, or a fresh article of clothing.

If there was a vending machine with basic kid supplies my life would be just a little bit easier.  Single pack diapers in a few sizes, travel wipes, plain white onesies in different sizes, and maybe even plain white T shirts for mom and dad.  They could be put in airports, theme parks, and shopping malls (basically any place that would not sell these basics normally).  I am so in love with this idea that I even made a picture… yes, the baby was taking a nap and I was avoiding chores.  Yay for crappy computer drawings and procrastination!

Vending Machine

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The Scent of Summer

sea-shore

There are many scents that could be associated with summertime: chlorine from a pool, the ocean, watermelon, strawberries, beer, and campfire to name a few. In my pale existence, there is one scent that is tied with all of these forever. Sun block. Nothing reminds me of summer so much as the scent of sun block. Applying that creamy and greasy white paste multiple times a day for the entire summer has forever associated that smell with warm weather to me.

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Toddler Bedroom – Decor

Now that the room is painted, it is time to add the furniture!  The first step was to build the bed we purchased.  We knew that once the bed was build, L would want to sleep in his new room.  So we made sure to have sheets washed and the baby monitor ready to move to the new room before setting the bed up.  L helped J build the bed while I took pictures and helped keep L entertained when he got bored with building.

IMG_41831520140301_08365201Once the bed was built, L started sleeping in his new room as we expected.  This room has more windows, so we knew curtains were the next thing that was needed.  I bought red and white chevron fabric and asked Grandma to sew curtains for us.  She added blackout fabric to them without me even asking, and it is a very good thing she did.  

While we were waiting for the curtains I started searching for fire truck themed decor.  I found some really neat antique fire truck toys on ETSY, but I did not think L would be able to resist playing with them.  Eventually, I decided that I wanted to put his name up on the wall above his bed and surround it with pictures of family and fire trucks.  I looked on Amazon and found some neat vintage tin signs with fire trucks on them.  I showed them to L on the computer and he approved, so I ordered them.  I found galvanized letters for his name at Pottery Barn Kids, and they happened to be on sale so I ordered those too.20140331_18384002

A few weeks later we had all of the pictures and letters ready to hang up on the wall.  I added simple, black picture frames to the mix from my giant stash of picture frames (I probably have almost 100 waiting to be used).  L was a great helper, climbing up the ladder behind J and taking away the hammer and nails whenever he could.  Sigh.  We eventually got everything on the wall.  L loves telling us what is in each picture frame and which fire truck is his favorite.  Since we thought the frames looked a little off in the upper left corner, we ended up hanging his fireman helmet from his Halloween costume up there too.  It was the perfect touch to the fire truck collage. (high five to myself)

Lastly, Grandma finished the curtains and we got them hung up.  We got a curtain rod from IKEA since we have had good luck with their curtain rods previously.  Seeing L's face when he walked into his finished room was priceless.  He loves his big-boy-fire-truck room!

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Toddler Bedroom – Painting

I love painting.  It is a quick way to give a whole new look to a room without spending too much money.  The visible transformation with one coat of paint is amazing; it changes the light and feel of a room completely.  I hate masking, but that is a necessary evil of painting.

IMG_417108First thing was to choose a color.  I knew that I wanted to paint L's room, and I was pretty sure that I wanted it to be a light grey.  We purchased a few samples and slapped them on the wall.  Our house came with all the walls painted a flat tan color, which is fine, but rather bland.  Flat paint is also horrible in a house with children.  Anytime you wipe the wall you leave water spots and remove some paint.  Satin or eggshell finish is a must with children; it is wipable and still looks nice.  It also reflects more light, making a room seem brighter.

The top two were determined to be too light, not giving enough contrast between the walls and baseboards for my liking.  After going back for another round of samples, we ended up choosing the second from the left on the bottom row.  It was warmer than the others, which would look better with our tan carpet.  After choosing and purchasing the paint, we had to wait until the grandparents could watch L so we could get painting done.  That is the one stage of his room that we did not let him help with.

Step one was to mask the ceiling, windows, baseboards, all outlet plates, and put down a drop cloth.  Masking went much faster with both J and I working on it, he did the ceiling and I did everything that did not require going up on a ladder (I was very pregnant at the time). 

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After masking, it was time to start painting.  I did the edging that did not require a ladder and J did the edging that did.  We bought low VOC paint and had the windows open, but I still let J do all of the rolling, just in case.

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We kept the room closed for a day, but the next day we had a little touch up painting to do.  L was home by then so he wanted to help us paint.  I am very happy with how the color came out; it makes the room much brighter during the day, giving it a fresh and cool look.  I want to paint all of our bedroooms this color!

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Toddler Bedroom – Toy Storage

IMG_20140108_18180216The first thing we did was to clean out the storage guest room.  We took down the old bookcases and gave them to a coworker of mine.  L had a great time helping with that project!  He knows how to use a screwdriver now, he just doesnt have the grip strength to be effective with it.  It took 5 times longer with his help, of course, but it kept him entertained and burned off some of his energy before bedtime.  Having him help also made the room more "his" than if we just did everything for him.  From the first day we started working on his room, he asked to sleep in there every night.  We bought his toddler bed, but we kept it in the box until we were ready for him to sleep in his new room.

The next step was to add some storage for his toys that would end up in his room.  We knew0112141856a04 we were going to bring the dresser and bookcase from the nursery furniture set into his room, but we wanted something to go into the closet for the toys.  We decided to go with 2 square shelf units and fabric cubbies from Lowe's.  We measured the closet and build in bars to determine which shelf units would fit the best.  L had so much fun helping us build them!  He climbed all over them and tore apart all of the Styrofoam, making a gigantic mess.  Sigh.

In an effort to make the bland, white shelves more interesting, I decided to decorate the backing.  I used Sharpie Paint Pens, and drew a different design on each square of the backing.  It took 30 – 90 minutes to do each square, depending on the complexity and number of interruptions.  Not all of the openings had backing (thankfully!) so the undecorated ones were designated to be the cubby receptacles.

Can you guess which design was his favorite?  Yep, the city.  He was so excited to play with his planes and cars in the cubby shelves; bedtime was later than normal that night.

Toddler Bedroom – Picking a Theme

Since the nursery was a fairly gender neutral theme (and I spent days painting the mural in it) we decided to convert the guest room into L's new "big boy" bedroom.  Once we made that decision, I started to research different themes on Pinterest.  There are so many ideas on that wonderful/evil site!  I had a hard time picking just one, so I gave L a few options to choose between.  I showed him pictures of the bedding that we would get him, to help him choose which one he liked the best.

 

Carters

 

Pottery Barn Kids

 

Carters

His first pick was fire trucks, but due to the changeable nature of toddler likes and dislikes, we asked him a few times over about a month to see if he changed his mind.  Nope, he chose the fire trucks every time.  No matter which one he ended up choosing, I had some great ideas for the room, but I was a little relieved that he did not choose the cars bedding set.  As much as I lover Pottery Barn, I was not looking forward to paying that much for bedding for him.  Luckily, he chose the Carter's bedding and that is much more affordable.

So, the first thing we did was to order the bedding and use that as a guide for the rest of the room.  L was so excited when the bedding arrived, he wanted to start using it right away.  We managed to delay it until his room was almost complete.  We figured that the excitement of his special fire truck sheets would make the first night in a new room less scary.

 

Divergent – Veronica Roth

Purchase Divergent on Amazon

I was recommended this book because I read The Hunger Games and did not think it was a horrible book. I will give that same shinning assessment to this book.

Beatrice is a young woman in a dystopian future world.  Raised in the Abnegation faction, she has a choice to make about her future; she can follow what society wants, follow her family, or follow her own path.  Through her journey of self discovery and world saving, she finds friendships, rivals, and a love interest.

My favorite part of this book was the descriptions of the divisions of society and the rituals that surrounded it.  The five factions and selection process of choosing your faction was a unique concept and the execution of it was excellent.  The idea was simple and easy to understand without being a typical lord and serf type of arrangement.  Typically, this is my favorite part of a book, the different reality from the one we live in.

My least favorite part of this book was the relationship between the two main characters.  How they "fall in love" and deal with the struggles in their relationship seems very immature.  I guess that is to be expected from a YA novel.  I wish the book was not quite so predictable.  If you have read Ender's Game, you will see some similarities in the training of children and conflicts between the teenagers.

By the time I finished this post, I had actually read the rest of the trilogy.  The second and third book are not as good as the first, but the ending of the third book was great.  It really surprised me!  It was a wonderful change from the predictability of the first two books and most of the third.  I would recommend this series if you are looking for an easy read and don't have anything better on your shelf waiting for you.  Not a glowing recommendation, but I do not regret the time I spent reading it.

Verbal Ticks

I have many phrases that I find myself overusing on a daily basis (sometimes houly).  Some of the phrases are expected and come with being a mother of a toddler with "I do what I want" syndrome, others are my own personal brand of frustration and lack of imagination.  Normally, I would resolve to add more variety to my verbal interractions, but I do not think that is a practical goal at this time.

Awesome – This is my go to phrase when something is good, neat, or I just like it.  I seem to have no synonyms for this in my vocabulary.  I find that this is my go to comment for any Facebook posts as well.

L, NO! – I am a mom. It is pretty self explanatory.

L, Freeze! – This is the only way he ever stops moving.  I use it about 8 times every diaper change since his new favorite thing is to bounce his butt all over while I am trying to wipe poop off.  Most. Frustrating. Thing. EVER.

L, take that out of your mouth RIGHT NOW! – I thought kids were supposed to get over this by the age of 1, but I guess not in our case.  He is contantly putting toys, fingers, rocks, wrappers, paper, crayons, play-doh… the list goes on… into his mouth.

Finish your damn sentense! – Yep, I say this all the time to J.  He has this Captain Kirk-like ability to pause in the middle of a sentense, and I get tired of waiting for him to finish his thought.  Doesn't he realize that there are about 5 seconds of short term memory in my brain, and if he takes too long I will forget what he was even talking about?

I probably say "hella" and various curse words more than I should as well, but L hasn't picked up on them yet, so I am in the clear for now.  #winning

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