Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Curse #38 - The Beast

To Collin's future roommate, wife, or anyone that has to deal with him in the morning,

First, let me congratulate you! You are so lucky to have Collin in your life.  He is so sweet, cute, and loving, but of course, I'm a little biased. 

As sweet as my little guy is, I feel it is my responsibility to warn you about..."The Beast." 

The Beast is who Collin becomes if he does not get food within five minutes of waking up. 

He will deceive you.  Collin will seem so sweet and smiley when he wakes up, but take my word if you do not get him food fast enough he turns into a crying, screaming Beast. 

Maybe his blood sugar is low, or maybe he's just really hungry, but for whatever reason the boy needs his food. 

You may think you are being really nice cooking him a big breakfast, but unless you have a snack to hold him over until the breakfast is done, you will pay.  Oh! You will pay. 

He will cry, and follow you everywhere you go (even the bathroom).  When you pick him up and try to hug him, he will just scream louder in your ear. Do not make direct eye contact with the Beast.  It just makes him angrier. 

You will want to fight and say things like, "He can wait," but resistance if futile.  The Beast will win.  Life will go better if you just give him a snack.  Don't think of it as giving up or giving in; just think of it as being smart. 

I've written all of this, just to let you know that you might want to consider keeping some granola bars and juice boxes handy.  You'll be so glad you did, and so will Collin.  

May the Odds be Ever in your Favor,
(A.K.A. Collin's Mom)

Note: Colli Bear, if you are reading this someday, don't use this as an excuse to be cranky or for people to get you snacks. You are a big boy. You can get yourself a snack. Better yet, got get a whisk and spatula and make yourself some scrambled eggs. You need the protein. Love you, Mom

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blessing #118 - Milk and all its wonderful friends

Yesterday, I was back in my doctor's office, sick...yet again.  My doctor talked with me about the next step in figuring out what is going on with me.  She thought that maybe my new asthma and over active immune system might be caused by an allergy.

We talked it over, and decided to walk down this road and try to cross a few things off the list of things I'm allergic to.  First, my doctor wanted to try dairy.  Sometimes an allergy to dairy can cause asthma, and I had complained to her last time I saw her that I had pain in my chest every time I drank a glass of milk.  (I know that makes me sound crazy.)

Anyway, she suggested that I cut dairy out of my diet for a week or two and see what happens.  My exact words to her were, "I'm willing to try anything."

I really don't think I thought that line through.  When she said, "Cut out dairy," I was just thinking don't drink milk, and that is fairly difficult for me.  When I was pregnant milk was one of the two things I craved (gatorade was the other).  In fact, I gained six pounds in one week when I was pregnant with B because I was going through a gallon of milk every two days.  But I said I was willing to try anything, and I could do without my nightly glass of milk.

Then as soon as I got in the car I started to think of all the dairy products, milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and cream cheese.  Then I started to think of all the things made from dairy products nachos, cheesy soups, cake, biscuits, cobbler, lasagna, pizza, and MILK chocolate.

Suddenly, my resolve was gone and I realized I am not will to try anything.  Really how bad is having an asthma attack? If I just always keep my inhaler with me I should be okay...right?  What's a little wheeziness? That cough that makes me sound like I've been smoking for 60 years is kind of cute.  Right? And honestly, is it really all that bad getting sick every month as long as I can have my chocolate and cheese while I'm coughing?

It took me some time, but I've decided to go for it and cut the dairy out for a couple of weeks and see what happens. Right now, as I type this post, I'm having my farewell glass of milk.  I'm really hoping this is wrong, and I'm not allergic so that I can be reunited with my friend dairy real soon.  Today though, if you drive by the Dairy Queen and see me with my face plastered against the glass, just keep driving.  I'm just going through withdrawals. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blessing #117 - Updated Porch

For several months, I have had many home posts.  In November, we moved into a new rental house that is 150 years old.  For someone that loves antiques and old stuff, I loOoOoOove this house. 
I have more freedom here to paint and such, and it's amazing how far a little work will go in this house.

Sometimes all the projects that need to be done are overwhelming.  I've been working in our mudroom for about a month now.  So I decided to pick a small project so I could actually feel some accomplishment. 

Our side porch...

First, I stained the porch with an opaque deck stain.  This was the only money I spent in this project($27), but I am also using the stain on another porch hopefully next week. 

I really debated about the stain color.  I don't hate it, but I don't love it either.  To add a pop of color I used two planters that I found at a yard sale last year for a dollar. 

I spray painted the outside of the planters orange with some spray paint I had from another project. Now, I have a feeling that spray paint is probably not the best idea for plants, but with my black thumb, I didn't care. 

For the planters, I used some pansies that my landlord gave us.  (He's very nice like that.) 

I normally love color, but I just wasn't loving the orange planters.  Orange seemed to make the porch stain look not quite right, and it took away from the pansies colors.  I think with the right flowers, orange would look awesome. 

To fix it, I used the same black spray paint I used on my mudroom light, and spray painted the planters again. By this time, I had already planted the pansies in one of them so I used a Walmart bag to cover the flowers as I spray painted...I'm sure that wasn't good for the flowers. 
Here is the after picture...

Yes, I had to label the planters. I know...it's a sickness.

At first I thought about labeling them "water me" to remind me and my black thumb, but I settled for "hi." 

It's almost too cutesy for me, but I like it anyway.  Oh! But wait, the back gets even better. 

A simpler way to do planters like these is to use chalkboard spray paint.   Then you could change the sayin' anytime you felt like it. 

I just love these planters and they make me smile every time I see them.  Here's the before and after so you can see them together. 
{before}...                                        {after}....

I'm sharing this project with these great sites.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Curse #37 - "That Mom"

Do you know anyone whose "that mom"?

You know, the one that always has a band aid and a small first aid kit in her purse just in case her kid gets a boo boo, and a deck of cards to play go fish with if there is a long wait.

The mom that can turn any trivial event into a touching life lesson for her child.

The mom who makes sure their kids do a craft at least once a week.

The mom who sits downs and plays in the floor with her child and still somehow manages to get all the laundry done. 

You know, "that mom" that has got it all together. 

Well, I am not "that mom."  There's a reason why I don't give out parenting advice on the blog.  I can paint walls, and make things pretty, but when it comes to motherhood, I have more questions than answers. 

Last week, when my parents visited, we decided to take a day trip to Philadelphia, to see all the sites, and of course eat a cheesesteak at Gino's. 

That morning, I had a moment of motherhood clarity, and I decided to pack some snacks for the boys just in case they got hungry.  That may seem very small to you, but for me it was huge.  I was so proud of myself for thinking ahead like that and getting all my ducks in a row. 

Who knew? Maybe I was "that mom" after all!

I think my pride lasted about two minutes.  As I was walking out the door, I realized I had not packed one diaper or wipe for Collin. He had no diapers, but he had snacks! Fortunately, I caught it just in time and avoided potential disaster. 

We set out on our adventure in my parent's van, and about an hour down the road, I suddenly realized....


It's always in my car so I never think about it much.  I had not thought to move it to my parents car. 

Navigating a city with 27 pounds of solid baby is very difficult without a stroller.  I told my parents, and they took the news in stride.  I guess by now they are used to my scatterbrainess (I don't know if that's a word, but just go with it).

We set out to explore the Liberty Hall and Liberty Bell area, stollerless, but before we got started we had to make a pit stop to the bathroom.  In the bathroom, I realized, I had left my camera in the car.  My mom and I then had this conversation....

                      me: Mom, I forgot my camera in the car.

                      mom: Stephanie. (sighs and rolls eyes)

                      me: Dad, was nice about the no stroller thing, but I think me forgetting the camera will  send him over the edge.  Quick, what can I say is the reason for me going back to the car. I forgot my inhaler and I'm feeling wheezy!

                      mom: feeling wheezy?

                      me: Oh! I can tell him I need to get a feminine item.  If I say a feminine item I know he won't ask any questions!

In the end, I went with the truth, and my dad didn't mind waiting the five minutes for me to go get my camera.  

The day would have been a total motherhood failure had it not been for the snacks. At least I remembered the snacks!

However, I soon realized I even messed that up too! How? Well, take a look at these pictures and maybe you can figure out my failure. 


Even when I think I've got it together, I don't.  "That mom" would have realized that two bags instead of one would reduce fighting.

Try as I may I don't ever think I'll be "that mom," but that's okay.  I have a feeling my boys are going to know that I tried my best and that I loved them.  Besides, thanks to all my mishaps, Brandon and Collin are going to have way funnier stories than "that mom's" kids!

"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all!"

Friday, April 6, 2012

Blessing #116 - A light fixture

On Monday, I blogged about the landing table in our mudroom. Another project in the mudroom was the light fixture. First, here is the before...

Impressive...I know. I liked starting with this, because you can only improve. 

I really did not want to spend money in my mud room.  I've tried to be smart about the materials I use so I can do it for as cheap as possible. 

Last week, I saw this hanging basket in Dollar Deals for $3. 

I immediately thought of a pin I saw on pinterest, and I knew that I had to buy two of those baskets!

I took out the liners of the baskets, and used some wire to attach the two baskets together. 

What happened to the liner you ask?

They had some fun with them. 

Originally, I planned on making a pendant light out of this, but then I found out it fit perfectly over the existing light.

That's definitely an improvement, but it would look so much better if it were all the same color.

Removing that brass plate would require some electrical skills, but  lucky for me my parents were visiting and my dad's an electrician.  He unhooked the light for me and we spray painted it a flat black. 

I debated about making it bright and colorful, but I figured the cool wire was the attention grabber in this piece, and not a bright color.

I have been talking about Edison Bulbs for months now, and Shad surprised me and brought me home an Edison bulb from Home Depot.  I don't know if they are really called Edison bulbs, but that's what I call them.  I just love them because you can see the filament.

In the end, here's how it looked. 

It's kind of kattywampus (that's right I said kattywampus) because I dropped it, but I still love it!

Here is the Edison bulb all lit up and pretty like!

Now for the good part..the cost. 

Hanging Baskets: 2 at $3 a piece - $6
Spray Paint: $3.50
Edison Bulb: $10

Total: About $20

I love the look.  It's absolutely perfect for my mudroom!

I'm sharing this project with these great sites.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blessing #115 - My Landing Table

At Christmas, my parents gave me an amazing gift.  A table, but not just any table.   During a recent renovation of the church I grew up in (Ridgeway), they pulled out some old boards.  This table was made by those boards by one of my favorite people, Mr. Gordon.  (I'll have blog about him on another day)

I loved the table, but I just couldn't find the right space for it. 

For the past few weeks, I've been working on our mudroom, and trying to update it.  I had the idea of a table where we could drop our keys and such when we first walk in the door, a landing table.  I tried my Ridgeway table, and it was the perfect height. 

I made a key holder out of an old window I found in one of the attics of our house (that's one of the perks of living in a house that's over 100 years old). I also put a bowl and a piggy bank to empty out our pockets with.


Because I am so forgetful, I've been using the table as a place to put all of the things I need to take with me and it has worked great!

Here is the table in its everyday look (Pay no attention to the ugly green carpet. I'll take care of that eventually.)

 Notice how many keys we have! I really need to go through them, but there's this nagging feeling that I'm throwing away the key to something really important.

Yesterday, I had to take a picture for my etsy shop so  I fancied up my little landing table.  It's my new favorite spot in the house.  It's so nice to see something I love right when I walk in the door. 

I'm sharing this post with these sites.