July 22, 2016

Word Press Migration

Hey friends!  I've been having some trouble with Blogger on my Mac, so I need to migrate over to Wordpress - which I hear is more Apple user friendly.  It should be all the same content, but a slightly different blog link.  I'll still post up on Facebook and all that so you can follow me.  Sorry, Blogger! 

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July 21, 2016

Little Chef

My kid loves our kitchen.  I can't keep him out of it.  He is obsessed with opening cabinets and letting the tupperware fall out all over the floor.  Or, he can be seen sneaking into the pots and pans drawer, and then heard throwing all that metal all over.  Or, sometimes he can be found in the spice drawer, artfully rearranging all my mini mason jars full of spices (thank goodness for that tight, mason-jar-type seal, right?)  

So, in a vain attempt to *possibly* keep him out of the kitchen, I thought I would try my hand at one of those cute DIY kitchens I see all over Pinterest and remember my fave-bloggers-gone-rouge who did one.   Here it is! 
The first thing I had to do was fine a frame.  There are so many ideas of this on Pinterest but I went with an over-the-fridge cabinet I found on Craigslist.  The guy who was selling it was local, and I got it for nothing.  
I don't have a ton of pictures of the process, which really isn't like me...well, maybe it is now that I have a kid.  I can only DIY at night after Z man goes to sleep, maybe an hour in the morning after Dave gets home from work but before he goes to bed, and maybe nap time...if I'm lucky and don't have 20 million other things to do (you know...shower, clean the house, make dinner, clean up toys, blah blah blah!)  I don't have time to pause for pictures, people!
I bought a new jigsaw and had waaaayyy to much fun cutting the sink hole out of the top of the cabinet.  I bought a smallish metal bowl from HomeGoods to use as the sink ($7.99!!) flipped it upside down and traced a circle on the top of the cabinet.  Then I cut the whole just a little smaller, so that the lip of the bowl would sit on top.

Hello new jigsaw, you are awesome.  I love my power tools! 

Here is the bowl set it, just a little liquid nails and some time to set and there ya go!!  Sorry, some of these pictures are upside down.  Time people, time! ;)

I looked all over for a faucet.  Did you know that faucets are pricey?  I didn't want to spend more than $10-$15 on a faucet for a play kitchen.  I headed to ReStore in Aberdeen to check it out (its awesome!) cue picture...

I could this little bute for $1!!!  Can you believe it??  Anyways, I realized you had to have a special tool to drill holes for a faucet, so back to Home D I went.  I learn all sorts of stuff while building these crazy things!  I came home and again had way too much fun drilled the holes for it!  Set it in there, and voila!  Look at that thing!

Oh wait, before I set anything in anywhere, I primed, and painted. Then sanded.  Then painted and sanded again.  And again.  This thing needed a few coats.  I like to do thin coats, so that means more coats, more drying time, more waiting.  THEN I set the sink and faucet in.  

The doors were trickier.  Well, just the one door.  I put the left side back on how it came to me, but I wanted the right side to open like an oven.  I bought about 6 different sets of hinges, none of which worked.  I really wanted a spring hinge, something that would open an close softly, but none of the ones I found worked will the project.  So, I just settled for regular hinges and a magnetic clasp.  I may end up changing it because the door opens way too fast and scares Z a little, and his little toes are at risk until he learns how to open it slowly.  I'll get there...Anyways, for now it works.

I bought some new hardware and got them on there.  I blackboard painted the one side too.  I need to get some kid friendly chalk to write on there, but for now he doesn't really care.  Oh and I found a stick on backsplash from Lowes on clearance for $4, and the colors were peeerrrrfect!  So I brought them home and got them up on the little strip I added to the back for a nice visual effect.

Finally I had to add some little touches.  I found the "burners" and knobs at A.C. Moore.  I painted them black and attached them with some screws, I love the effect!!!  It's so cute!!

I used a chalkboard marker to draw on the details.  It's sort of a white-silver color.

I added some details to the sides too.  Those two little knobs on the side to hang things on...

And this little diddy for a dish towel (still need to buy one!)

Z already has the pots and pans set and a fruit basket set from IKEA which he LOVES, and I found a cheap food set at Ross for $10.99.  So I put it all together, made sure it was dry and set (I did a few clear coats and  light sanding to set it all up for extensive use) and waited for Z to "discover" it a few mornings ago...

He went right to it!!

Look at that smile.  All the frustration and DIYing is worth it for THAT smile!

If I say, "Z go stir the spaghetti," that is his cue to go over to the kitchen.  I have no idea how that started or how he even understands that?!?!

All in all, I'm pretty proud of myself!  Its such a cute "toy" for Z and it does (somewhat) keep him out of the actual kitchen.  I threw in some older tupperware, a cleaned out coffee can and sour cream container, and he is set!
Play on, my little chef, play on. <3 
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July 16, 2016

Puzzle Pieces

Recently I was reading one of my mom devotionals and the writer said something so profound, so simple, it totally stuck with me! She was talking about different parenting styles and ways to baby rear, and how there is so much stuff out there about how to raise our children.  As moms, we want to make sure we are doing the absolute best thing for our children.  Some of us have no freaking clue on how to raise a baby, and maybe someone you know (ahem) may turn to books, online articles on Baby Center or even Facebook (gasp!) to learn how to raise the sweet little monster that may or may not be terrorizing your house at the minute.

Guys, I am talking about me, if you didn't get that ;)

Anyways, I love to read about raising kids.  I respect what other moms have tried and failed and perfected when it comes to their kids.  I am willing to try anything (well, mostly anything) to figure out how to raise my kid so he wont be an...well, I can't say that word here.    I want him to be healthy, happy, compassionate, love Jesus, well-rested, smart, considerate...you know, just a nice and normal person!

The writer in my devotional said that I have to look at my kids, my family, as a puzzle.  We all look different and have different qualities and angles, yet we all fit together perfectly because God gave us to each other.  We are a family.  We belong together.  We fit together, because God says so.  Dave, Tina, Ashley, Zachary = one beautiful puzzle.  That means, however, that my family and your family are a totally different puzzle.  None of our pieces look the same, therefore our puzzles will never look alike.  When it comes to figuring out life, it can be helpful to ask and learn from what other parents have done, but we have to take into consideration that our kids are all completely different beings.  I hear the "what works for me may not work for you..." all the time but more than that, child-rearing has all these milestones and rules that we feel we should all follow and fit into.  The result?  Well, I don't know about you, but all that ends up doing is make me feel like a bad mom when my child doesn't fit into that mold.  

That starts a deluge of the critic in my head..."You aren't doing this right," and "you aren't a good mom," and "Other kids do or don't do that," and all that nasty stuff that we hear and feel and sometimes even listen to. Being a mom in this world can be really tough. 

To breastfeed or bottle feed?  Wean at a year or at two?  To vaccinate or not?  To cry it out or not?  Are you going to homeschool?  Private school?  Which nursery school?  Your kid needs to do sports. Your kid needs a schedule. Your kid can't watch TV.  Your kid can't have this or not, and needs those, and won't be this without that.  So...many...choices! Most moms I know are in the same boat as me, we just don't KNOW yet...but there are other families we see or hear about who are so passionate about some of these things!!  It's not wrong to be passionate, not at all.  But it is wrong for me to think that what works for me and my kid must work for everyone else too.  I understand the "mommy wars" term now, because society can make us feel pressured to do something we may not know is right for us and our babies, or they tell us/make us feel that what we've been doing is the "wrong" way. 

When I read that line about the puzzle pieces, it helped alleviate the pressure I sometimes feel.  It doesn't matter what other moms are doing, or what the "experts" say.  They are doing or saying what works for them, or what works for the majority.  Zachary is my kid, I spend 24 hours a day with him (right now) and I know his needs best.  I am his momma!  He is part of the puzzle of my family, and he is teaching me very quickly that he will not fit into any standard this world has.   I spent the first few weeks after his 1st birthday feeling so stressed out.  He has to give up his bottle, I have to stop the formula even though he doesn't eat enough food, he has to be on a nap schedule, blah blah blah.   I wanted to scream because I wasn't doing anything right!

I realized that I wasn't thinking about my kid, really.  I was just thinking about some silly standard I have in my head.  A standard based off of a bunch of information that has nothing to do with him.  I know that we will conquer each step or milestone eventually, but it has to be right for Zachary.  Finally, with the help of Desperate, and a whole lot of prayer, I realized I need to stop trying to fit my kid into some puzzle that doesn't exist.  He fits into our puzzle perfectly, however we can make that work and keep him safe, healthy and happy.   

I know I'll probably never feel like I am doing everything right, but that's ok.  I am going to let Z guide me and teach me, and keep filtering everything through prayer.  Being a mom is scary, having to be in charge of this sweet, little life is a big responsibility.  When I strip away all the junk from my head, I see how lucky we are to even have this kid in the first place.  How is it so easy to forget that?   Our family has our own way unique way of living and growing and loving, and we are figuring it all out one step at a time, minute by minute.  That, my friends, is totally fine.  We are a puzzle, each piece belonging wholly and truly, just as God orchestrated.  Can I hear an amen?  

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