Party Prep

Tomorrow my little Cupcake turns 2!!!  How did that happen?!?!?!?  She has grown SO much in the last 2 years.  It is absolutely amazing!  She talks nonstop, is running and jumping and climbing ALL THE TIME, she can do puzzles, she loves to read and for the most part is a happy girl.  The girl can definitely turn on the ‘tude, though!

We decided to have her party the weekend after her birthday since the weekend before was Mother’s Day and because we’ll have some out of town guests we didn’t want to interfere with any plans they may have.  So that means party prep is in full swing here!

It started with this.

The deck looked awful!  That’s why I power washed it last week.  And that just made it worse (which is what I was going for).

It was a two nap and one night (with a helper) project, but it’s done!  Have I ever mentioned that our deck is huge?  We wanted to repaint it last year before Cupcake’s birthday, but it was too rainy leading up to the party.  In the end it didn’t matter since it rained the day of the party any way!  So far it looks like sunny skies for this years party.  Let’s just hope that doesn’t change in the next few days!!!!

See the difference?

We will not be entertaining any guests before Saturday because the dining room table looks like this.

Actually it looks worse now!  I did some food shopping and a little more craft store shopping.

I’ve done a little more spray painting, some wreath making, banner hanging, serving dish washing and some furniture rearranging!  I’ve been cleaning as well, which will be a continuous process over the next few days until party day!

It’s going to be a busy week!!!

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Warm Day, Cold Treat

We’ve had some wacky weather around these parts.  One day it’s shorts and a tank weather, the next pants and a jacket.  On one of those shorts and tank weather days I had a hankering for a fudge pop.  There were no fudge pops in the house.  What’s a girl to do?  Make some!!

Luckily I had just picked up these cute little guys at IKEA a few weeks ago.

Now was my chance to try them out!  I gathered my supplies….

And got to work!

It didn’t take long before I hit a bump in the road.

Yeah, I didn’t have enough Nutella.  No worries.  I’ll improvise!

Peanut butter to the rescue!

Does improvising make me a real chef?

Add the milk…….

Whisk, whisk, whisk.

I could just drink this straight from the bowl!  But I won’t!

Pour into the molds.

Accidentally fill the first one a little too full so the liquid seeps up over the bottom of the stick.  Frantically search the house for the last stick because tiny hands snatched it off the island while you were busy pouring…..

Freeze!

Keep reminding the toddler than the “popsicorn” is not ready, yet.

Hope that it is warm the next day and enjoy!

Fudge Pops

1 cup milk
1/3 cup Nutella (or 1/6 cup Nutella, 1/6 cup peanut butter)

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl.
Pour into molds.
Freeze for 24 hours.
Run molds under warm water for a few seconds to loosen pops.
Enjoy!

 

Do you have a favorite treat for a warm day?

Spring Cleaning

Warning: You are about to enter the danger zone!

OK, maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but this is a garage.  And currently there are no cars in this garage.  And that, to me, is unacceptable.  Between painting projects, stocking up for the big birthday party and “I used it, but didn’t put it back where I found it” syndrome this place is just disheveled.  At least the big pile of cardboard made it to the recycle center, but it wasn’t enough.

My biggest pet peeve?  The shelves!  I would love to show you the close up before picture, but after 5 failed attempts at uploading it I quit!!!  The shelves used to be sorted.  Everything was categorized.  Unfortunately things weren’t put back where they were found and we had a random empty shelf, while the others were all random and messy.

So the bikes were taking up a bit of room in front of the cornhole boards, but there was just enough room for hubby to get his car in.  But it’s still not the best solution because if you actually wanted to use the bikes you had to move his car.  If we are going to the trails we use my car to transport them so it’s no fun to move both cars for that.

Ta da!!!  A new bike rack!!  I found this gravity stand and it seemed like the best solution for the space.  And the price was right.  It was super easy to assemble and although it can just rest against the wall it does come with a strap to attach it, which I did.  I don’t want a toddler getting attacked by falling bikes!  I’m super happy with this solution.  My bike has an odd cross bar, so a lot of the racks and stands we looked at wouldn’t have worked with it, but this one is very adjustable.  And the bikes are happily tucked away in the corner now.


And here we have the newly reorganized shelves.  I wonder how long they’ll stay this way………….

Up top we have not often used items such as the battery pack if you need a jump start and a big bottle of green clean and garage towels. Then we have car cleaning on the next row on the left, drill attachments, wrench sets, and the circular saw on the right.  Below that is the spray paint/caulk/antifreeze collection and the toolbox holding all the little things and the battery charger for the trimmer. On the second to last shelf we have all the power tools in their cases (drill, router, orbital sander, jigsaw, staple guns) and then the gardening supplies. Lastly down low we have potting soil, mulch, gas cans, tool tote and an empty spot where the power washer lives (which was waiting to be used on the deck).

When we bought the house it had this rack on the wall which I think is supposed to hold shovels or something, but it’s never been well utilized.  So I spread the hooks out and started hanging things!  Buckets, hoses, and step ladders are light and easy to hang.

After this picture was taken I actually decided to hang Cupcake’s bike trailer where the step stool is because it was hogging the space where the trike goes (which Cupcake was pushing up and down the street with daddy while I was cleaning).  I’m going to buy another hook to hang the step ladder from.

This side of the garage is MUCH cleaner.  This wall was were things would go to die!  Everything was resting against this wall as we didn’t need the space between hubby’s car and the wall because he would always back out if he was planning on loading a passenger.  What’s the point of the pegboard and hooks if you’re not going to use them?  So I hung everything I possibly could!!

Ta da!  Look how clean hubby’s side of the garage is!  You can fit a ’64 Ford Galaxie in there.  No, really, I hope you can because we’ve got one coming this afternoon.  Yeah, did I mention the urgency for cleaning out the garage is because hubby inherited a classic car and he seems to think it’s going to fit in here?  My side still needs a bit of work.  That dresser is finished and I moved the drawers inside, but I cannot help hubby carry the dresser up the stairs (it weighs a ton!) so it will sit until another big strong man comes help him move it.  I also moved my headboard project and my chair project over there since the drawers are no longer taking up the space.

We moved the hook that was next to the bike stand next to the cornhole boards to hang the car bike rack, which is very awkward and heavy.

I still plan to get two more hooks to hang the step ladder, which will go over the trash cans on the left and to hold the spreader, next to the door on the right (currently the spreader is just sitting in front of the trash cans).

I should be able to finish the headboard project today so that will be one less thing in the way, but it really doesn’t solve the “my car has been parked in the driveway for a month” problem.  Darn dresser!!!

Is your garage clean enough to fit both your cars in it?

 

UPDATE:  The Galaxie fits!!  And so does Pete (my car) after about a month and a half of driveway parking. 

I’m Short

I’ve had this problem all my life.  I don’t think it’s going to get any better any time soon, so I better learn how to live with it right?

So here’s my dilemma.  I needed some jeans.  I had three pairs of maternity jeans from my first pregnancy.  Two pairs were sized (Old Navy and Gap) and one pair was a medium (Motherhood).  They were all petite length, but the two pairs that were sized were the perfect length.  The medium pair were too short.  I could only wear them with flip flops or flats.  I could survive on two pairs of jeans especially since I’ll spend most of my pregnancy in warm weather, but the sized jeans are currenlty two sizes too big since I started this pregancy just over 10 pounds lighter than the last.

I can’t not have jeans!  Especially since we’ve still had some chilly days.  And I wanted a good fitting pair with a comfortable panel.  The material of the panel from Motherhood is my favorite.  So off to the mall I went!  And I found a great fitting pair of jeans!  The problem: too long or too short!  So I bought the too long ones with a mission ahead of me………..hemming them!!

These are the tallest shoes I wear……..yeah not going to work.

And I’m not a fan of this look.

So I needed to chop this much off………..

Well, I decided to not really chop them off because I won’t be wearing them all that long and when all is said and done (this is my last pregnancy) maybe someone taller than me would like them.  So this is how short I wanted them.

I measured how wide the original hem was and measured up to there.

And folded……..

And sewed……..

You can see I stitched just below the original hem.

If these weren’t just maternity jeans, but ones that I would be keeping for years I would’ve cut the leftover fabric and serged the cut ends.  Instead I just stitched the extra fabric up.

Ta da!!!!!!

Much more better!  Now momma’s got a pair of comfy, good fitting jeans!!!!

 

Does anyone else have this problem of regular sized pants being too long, but petite being too short?

Random Thoughts, Observations, and Happenings

Power washing the deck is way more fun (and effective) if you actually turn the power washer on.

Apparently Cupcake has selective door opening skills.  She was supposed to be napping, but instead she decided to open her closet door, go inside the closet, close the door, and then scream when she couldn’t get out.  There is now a childproof knob on her closet door.

Forgetting to buy ice cream when I went to the grocery store earlier in the week was a BIG mistake!

Taking a dachshund and a toddler to the vet to drop off a fecal sample, get a blood draw and buy a 50 pound bag of dog food is not as easy as one might think.  The toddler wasn’t wearing any shoes.

Stuffing your Cosmic Brownie wrapper down your shirt does not fool the dog.  He will still whine at you until you either throw it away or give it to him.

If you power wash half of your huge deck your arm will not stop vibrating for at least 10 minutes afterward.

My SUV fits on hubby’s side of the garage.  This is handy when his car is being serviced, my side of the garage has a dresser in it, and there is a storm overhead that might bring with it tornadoes and hail.

If the toddler is going to fall asleep in the car every time we go for a 20 minute drive I’m going to assume she’s not ready to give up her nap and I will continue to fight this battle.

We went to pick a present for a friend out of her birthday bucket at a local store and I totally peeked at Cupcake’s birthday bucket to see what was left.

I started another blog post almost a week ago, but I’m too lazy to edit the pictures for it.  How can one be too lazy to sit at the computer and edit pictures, yet not too lazy to sit at the computer and browse Pinterest?

I wonder if the Dairy Queen is open for the season, yet?

I bought a headboard from a consignment store with no idea how I was going to get it home.  My tape measure keychain broke, so I wasn’t sure it would fit in my car. Heck, I’m not entirely sure it will fit the bed frame!

I don’t think I feel the baby moving, yet.  Does this mean this child will be calmer than my first?  At this point in my pregnancy with Cupcake she was already beating the crap out of my insides.

Cupcake’s birthday party is at our house in just over 3 weeks and I still need to paint the deck, plan a menu, finish the guest room, get rid of all the junk in the front room, assemble her present and figure out where the heck everyone is going to sit.  (And kindly ask Mother Nature not to rain on her party this year!)

A Day in the Life: The Last Day of April

Apparently my alarm was set for 6:30.  I don’t remember setting it that early, but it starting pounding at the door and yelling my name around that time.  The good news is she wanted to snuggle.  So we sleepily moseyed back to my bed and got our snuggle on for a good 45 minutes.  And then we giggled for a good 10 minutes and eventually made our way downstairs for breakfast.

We had almost no milk in the house, so hubby wasn’t allowed to have cereal for breakfast.  That left enough milk for Cupcake to have some in her cup and in both of our bowls of cereal.  We opened a new box of Kashi Triple Berry Crunch.  I approve!  Cupcake also had some applesauce and I had some OJ.  We got a little bit of play time in before we had to get ready for Stroller Strength class.

I totally overdressed for Stroller Strength.  By the second lap around the park (1/2 mile) I had to take my jacket off.  It got warm fast.  We worked on legs and of course did cardio.  I ran (at my 4 month pregnant pace) and I’m sure I’m going to feel it later.  The kids had a great time playing on the playground after class.  I forgot my phone in the car so I couldn’t take a picture of her in her cute new, wide legged jeans going down the slide.  She also had a great time pushing around a dump truck she stole from the older boys (they weren’t actually playing with it, so………).

We stayed at the playground for an hour, so my plan to get groceries was out the window because it was now lunch time (and I forgot my coupons anyway).  Back home I made Cupcake a peanut butter and jelly, served up with some raisins and pasta salad.  I had leftover pulled pork and pasta salad.  She ate maybe half her sandwich before the neighbor came over with her daughter (who’s almost 5).  The kids played.  Moms chatted.  I gave away an Amish Friendship Bread starter (woo hoo!  now I only have to make one!!) and then I kicked them out because it was naptime.  Oh, and I was supposed to put the chicken in the Crockpot at noon, but I got distracted by the company.

I had intended to put a coat of paint on the dresser but Cupcake was not cooperating with the nap, I still needed to fine tune my grocery list (yeah, I was going to go to the store underprepared) and get a shower.  I sent her back to bed twice before I got in the shower.  I again sent her back to bed once I was done showering.  It sounded like she got the hint, so I headed down to the basement to hem the neighbor’s new curtain (the main reason for her visit earlier).  She brought it to me like this.

Smart girl!  She has no sewing experience, so I was impressed with her method of marking the desired length.

I got to try out a new method for ensuring even hems!

I listened to the buzz of my sewing machine, while watching some Samantha Who? on Netflix, and listening to the silence on the baby monitor.

Success!!

OK, so the silence on the baby monitor was not a toddler sleeping like I thought.  She discovered how to escape from her bedroom!! As I was coming up the stairs I could smell Old Spice and was quite nervous about what I would find when I got to the top of the stairs.  I found a toddler saying “uh, oh, blankie” and discovered said blankie covered in bits of a blue, smelly gel in daddy’s bathroom.  At first I thought it was shaving gel, but I didn’t really have time to investigate.  I quickly looked for the source of the blue gel, but had to move along.  The hubs was walking in the door and I had a dentist appointment to get to.  (Turns out it was deodorant.  She apparently thought it was fun to tear it up into chunks.)

No cavities!!  A little bit of pregnancy induced gingivitis, but that’s pretty normal.  It’s actually not too bad (I think it’s less than what I had with Corinne) which is probably due to the fact that I brush and floss a million times a day thanks to my Invisalign trays.

A quick to the grocery followed my dentist appointment.  We didn’t have enough milk to make dinner so it couldn’t wait.  At least it was a quick trip because I was toddler free!  And I didn’t forget my soda on the bottom of the cart! (I don’t buy soda, like ever, except when I have a party coming up that I tend to leave my soda on the cart when I put it in the cart return.)

I came home to discover a toddler sitting on top of a daddy who was laying on the couch. They were watching Dora the Explorer.  Cupcake was so entranced she didn’t notice me come in the house, which means she didn’t get off her daddy, which resulted in me lugging the groceries in by myself.

Time to make dinner.  Chicken and Dumplings.  I used this recipe.  It was fantastic!  Cupcake asked for seconds!  (Luckily my chicken was cooked at a reasonable time, since I forgot to put it in the crockpot when I originally planned.)

Hubby’s car needed to be dropped of at Mazda as it will be in for a few days of repair.  She who did not nap fell asleep on the 10 minute drive there and back.  (If she’s going to fall asleep during a quick car ride I’m going to assume she still needs the afternoon nap that she has been fighting so hard the last 2 weeks!)

Cupcake continued to destroy the house.

Hubby mowed the lawn.  Momma did the dishes.

Off to bed for the little one.

Back to the kitchen for the momma.  It was day 10 of my Amish Friendship Bread adventure, so it was baking day.

It doesn’t look very appetizing right now, but I can assure you it tastes fantastic! (I don’t know why they call it bread……clearly it’s so sugary it’s cake!)  Have you ever had this stuff?  OMG! I love it!  I’m always afraid to give all my starters away because it’s so good, but my thighs really don’t need a loaf every 10 days!

While the bread baked momma cleaned.

This guy helped.

See I told you so!

I enjoyed the smell and sounds of rain and the cleanliness of my kitchen and living room before heading up to my comfy bed with my chic lit.

The day ended with one tired momma who hoped that the alarm was set for at least 7:00!

Babywearing Woes

Warning: I’m about to get on my soapbox.

Let’s talk baby carriers.  Did you know there are other options out there other than Baby Bjorn?  How did they corner the market with their inferior product?  Baby Bjorn currently offers 6 models of baby carriers on their website, but only 1 offers the support that baby’s hips need.  Dangling a baby from it’s crotch can cause hip dysplasia.  What, you’ve never heard of hip dysplasia?  Yeah, I hadn’t either.  Well let me tell you all about it.

That’s my Cupcake when she was just a few weeks old, sporting her harness.  She had hip dysplasia.  Hers was congenital.  There was nothing I could’ve done to prevent it.  It was just because of the way she was in my belly.  She wore this contraption for the first 12 weeks of her life.  And another brace for an additional 12 weeks at night.  The harness kept her legs out in a frog position 24/7 to allow  her hips to sit correctly in their socket.  This is the healthiest position for a baby’s hips.  Luckily for us, the harnesses did the trick and surgery wasn’t needed, but that isn’t the case for everyone.

So what does this have to do with baby carriers?  Some baby carriers do not put baby’s legs in this frog position.  I see people pinning Baby Bjorn’s left and right and recommending them to first time moms, but these carriers are NOT good for baby!  The one model that allows for the “wide” frog leg position can also be adjusted into the “normal” position.

Here’s an example.

See how baby’s legs are hanging straight down?  That position doesn’t allow the hip joints to sit correctly.  This can allow baby’s hips to dislocate.  Do you really want to dislocate your baby’s hip?  I didn’t think so!!

A better carrier choice is one that puts baby’s legs in the frog position.  An example….

This is an Ergo (my carrier of choice).  It has a nice wide spot for baby’s behind and legs to sit in and keep baby’s hip even in the socket.

You may notice that in the first example baby is facing out and in the second baby is facing in.  It’s true, you cannot face baby out in these wide carriers, but  this is actually a good thing.  If baby is facing out (s)he cannot look away from stimuli.  The world is a busy place and it can be very overwhelming for little ones.  Sometimes they need to hide.  Carrying facing in allows them to look away.  Also, when baby faces out it puts more pressure on the carrier’s shoulders and back.  Another option instead of facing out is, once baby is old enough, to wear baby facing in on your back.  That way baby can see what is going on, but can also look away from stimuli if desired.

And the wide carriers have a higher weight limit, meaning the carrier will last you a lot longer.  Cupcake still rides on my back in the Ergo at 23 months and 27 lbs and it’s not uncomfortable for me (even with carrying the baby in my belly).

Here’s a little more info from experts on hip dysplasia.  If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe them.

OK, lecture over.  Back to our regularly scheduled blogging.

What’s your favorite baby carrier?

Check out this beauty!

I thought I found the perfect dresser for Cupcake’s new room on Craigslist.  I emailed the seller and asked the dimensions so I could make sure it would fit in my car.  She said she’d email me back with them when she got home.  I get an email later that evening saying she sold it.  I was bummed.  I had been scouring Craigslist for weeks and this was the first good piece of furniture at a reasonable price I saw!

I really had my heart set on a low and long dresser for her.  So imagine my excitement when I stumbled across this beauty at Salvation Army for just $49.99!!!

It is almost exactly want I wanted!  It is SOLID maple and has so much space in it!  The drawer pulls are definitely not my taste, but clearly I need new ones since several are missing or broken.  And the curves on the bottom are a little flashier than I like, but for the price I can deal with it!

Six of the original drawer pulls are still in good shape so I’m thinking of listing them on eBay (although if one of my readers wants them speak up and we’ll make a deal!), but now I’m on a mission to find new drawer pulls.

Here’s the dilemma.  I need 15 drawer pulls.  I can’t decide what style will look good on this baby so I need your help!

Option #1

This fun arched pull?  They are a bit pricey at $5.38 each.

 

 

 

 

Option #2

This similar, yet cheaper arched pull?  On sale for $1.90 each!

 

 

 

 

Option #3

The bar pull?  Moderately priced at $2.70 each.

 

 

 

 

Or another pull all together?  I need something with a 3 inch hole spacing.  And no I’m not going to fill in the holes and drill new ones.  I don’t have the patience for that.  This dresser is taking up my parking space in the garage and Pete (my car) wants it back (and I’ve already started painting it)! 

 

I also think these glass ones are fun, but at $10.75 a pop I’ll pass!!

 

 

 

So tell me…….what do you like?

Nap Time Craft Time: Circle Skirt

I’ve been wanting to do this project for a while.  I found a great tutorial over on MADE forever ago and just haven’t had the materials needed.  So the other day I was really itching to sew something and I saw that notions were 50% off at Joann’s.  Off I went to buy some fabric and colored elastic!!

I came home and got straight to work!  OK, I lied.  I came home and threw my new fabric in the washer, then the dryer and waited until nap time and then got to work!  I found some packaging paper to draw my template on.  Luckily Cupcake’s waist measurement was close to the example in the tutorial, so I didn’t have to do any math (not that I’m not good at math.  So here’s my (wrinkly) template pinned to my (adorable) fabric.

A few quick snips and I was left with this!

I was nervous that that inner hole was not going to be big enough to get over Cupcake’s cloth diaper booty, but I kept working……..  eenie, meenie, miney, mo…

Winner!!

Oh, oh, oh…………did I mention I brought out the big guns for this project?

This thing scares the crap out of me!  And I don’t even have to thread it.  It’s been threaded since the day my momma gave it to me.  It just makes me nervous!  So many dials……..  it’s just different………  but look what it can do!!

I serged both the waist and the bottom hem of the skirt to prevent my fabric from fraying (and it looks pretty!).

I pulled my elastic and started sewing……

Finished off the hem……

And ta da!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ain’t she cute?!?!?!

I couldn’t hardly wait for Cupcake to wake up from her nap to try it on!!!  And she loved it!!  You know you want to see some toddler twirls!!!!

Have you made any cute projects lately?