Freckles in April: August 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

This Month at Babble

It's almost September! Do you know what this means?? I AM ALMOST DONE BEING PREGNANT HALLELUJAH. This has been my hardest pregnancy to date and me and my cankles are pretty over it.

I got diagnosed with placental resistance a few weeks ago (no, I had never heard of it either. Apparently it's not real common but it DOES explain my history of complications) so how much longer I have really depends on how the blood flow looks at my ultrasound each week. I'm crossing my fingers for a happy balance between "letting baby develop as long as she needs" and "going all the way to the end." Because I remember this part and I sleep way more AFTER the baby is born, no matter what the old ladies at church say.

From my maternity pics with Baby 2


Anyway, in case you missed it, here's what I wrote at Babble this month!
Have a great weekend!!

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Celebrate Grandparents Day with Me!


I haven't done a Babble collaborative post in a while thanks to changes over there BUT I'm doing one for September and I'm super excited about it!!

Get the details right over here. And hurry...submission deadline is Sept 2nd!!
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Nursery Snippet | The Dresser



I originally planned to find a second-hand dresser on Craigslist and then refinish or paint or whatever. But after all the work I put into the planks and trim I just couldn't talk myself into another major project! I took the easy way out and went to Ikea to pick up a Hemnes.

I looked at a couple cheaper options from other places and kept coming back to the Hemnes 8-drawer dresser. It's a great height for a changing table and the drawers slide out so smooooth. Plus, lots of storage!

I couldn't just leave it as-is though, obviously. I wasn't willing to do a major alteration but fun knobs? I could do fun knobs.

Anthropologie had several pretty mint colored knobs on their website so I dragged my (whining, hot, unhappy) boys to the store (the workers LOVED us...) and spent some time pondering before I ended up with these simmered glass knobs, which look more minty and transparent in person than they did on the website.



Because they're a little on the pricier side, I only bought 4 to use on the top drawers and went to Home Depot for the remaining 8 pulls. Gold options were limited so I ended up buying these cup pulls and using my handy-dandy hammered gold spray paint to get the look I wanted. I just did a light sanding, a quick wash and dry, and then spray painted them out on our back patio.


Since the drawer fronts were originally pre-drilled with only one hole we had to drill another pilot hole for each pull. Aaron, bless him, ended up taking it upon himself to handle that one morning while I was doing laundry. He got it done way more quickly and accurately than I could have! The longer this nursery project goes, the more I lose faith in my ability to measure things precisely.

After assembling the Hemnes I attached the changing pad with 3M velcro strips. When we're done with the changing pad I can just remove the strips and there will be no permanent damage to the dresser.



I got these little storage bins on clearance at Target ages ago. I used a paint pen to change the hardware from silver to gold (it was a good project for a really barfy day spent on the couch) and they're the perfect size for holding diapers and other changing table necessities.


For now, the one on the left is holding bows. The one in the middle WILL hold wipes but right now contains cards from my baby shower, screwdrivers and hardware for the stuff I haven't finished yet. The one on the right holds newborn diapers, which, SO TINY I HAD TOTALLY FORGOTTEN.
Going home shoes!!


I picked up a latte bowl from Anthro while I was there for the knobs. The color was right and I figured it was a good place for corralling binkies and whatnot.

I could do a whole post about how much I LOVE WubbaNubs. Stinky spent 2 weeks in the NICU due to prematurity and they gave him one. We were instant converts! The original was looking a little shabby so my sister sent this sweet little cow one for baby E.

I stole the Ikea lamp from my bedroom. It should be sitting on my bedside table but I currently don't HAVE a bedside table so I wasn't really using the light all that much. It has a dimmer, which was my major requirement for any light that would go beside the rocking chair. Eventually I'll steal it back for my bedroom and I'll have to find another lighting option, but this works for now.

The nursery is getting SO close. I have to rehang the curtains because the rod was in a weird place and I have to figure out what I'm doing for art (first thing I started thinking about, last thing I seem to be able to make decisions about) and the room needs a trashcan (boooring), among a few other small things, but we are almost there!!


Now that I've spent so much time in the room, though, I'm seriously considering a skylight or something. I knew the room was dark but I didn't know, you know? These pictures were taken at the time of day when the room gets the MOST light from its one small window and I still had to turn on the overhead light so there would be enough light for my camera to focus. The lack of light is great for a napping baby and toddler but I think eventually this kid isn't going to be quite so enamored of living in a cave. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, I suppose!
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Baby Shower

Six lovely friends from my old neighborhood threw me a baby shower last week and it was SO pretty and fun that I wanted to share a few pictures:

3 kinds of bruschetta, coconut lime cookies, cream puffs (my FAVORITE), mini cheesecakes, caramelitas, fruit skewers and veggies with dip. It was SO YUMMY. I took home a couple plates and ate it all for breakfast the next morning (aaand I wonder where the weight gain is coming from...)



Brooke and Amanda hard at work


There were lots of pregnant bellies and lots of tiny babies too!


I made this face a lot.




I HAVE BOWS

If it's possible I'm even more excited for this baby now. It's weird how little things hit you...I opened a tiny pair of fuzzy socks and was like OMG I'M HAVING A BABY! It hit me again this morning as I was assembling the baby tub (I've always bathed my poor children in the bathroom sink....

Baby Stinky in his fancy jacuzzi


 ...so this time I was like, "Yeah, this baby gets a TUB! Livin' large!").

She may already be keeping me up at night but I can't wait to snuggle her!
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Then and Now

I haven't proclaimed my love for Janssen on my blog in a while but she's been one of my closest friends for years and years, despite the fact that we haven't lived remotely close to each other since our college days. That is, until this summer! She and her family have been living about 20 minutes away for the past 6 weeks and it has been glorious. They're leaving today (insert many sad face emojis) but we got one last picture in last night at my baby shower.

Four and a half years ago Bart and Janssen came for a quick visit. I was 34 weeks pregnant with Baby 2 and she was 22 weeks with Ella. We went on a hike and took this picture:

Yes, only TWELVE weeks apart. You have to be pretty secure to stand next to Janssen.


So last night we had to take this one:


Pregnant together again! And it's awesome.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nursery Progress | Adding Trim

Because I had previously learned (the hard way) that math + measuring + angles are not my strong suit, I asked for Aaron's help with installing the trim. And it was a dang good thing I did because even he had trouble wrapping his mind around some of the cuts that needed to be made. And math + measuring + angles ARE his strong suit. Also, there was a chop saw involved and I like my fingers attached to my body.

I got 2 "pro packs" of molding at Home Depot. It's slightly cheaper that way ($1/ft vs like $1.13/ft) and it saved me the hassle of hand selecting each piece of molding. Each pack contained five 12' pieces of molding, which was just about perfect for both the chair rail and the crown molding for the room (plus a little extra for inevitable screw ups).

Love that guy
Aaron handled the measuring and the cuts then we'd each take an end, put the piece in place, and I'd do the nail gunning. While he puzzled through angles and handled the Finger Chopping Saw I went around patching and caulking and sanding. It was a pretty great system and we got the chair rail up super fast.




The crown molding was way harder (compound angles!). We got a couple walls done but then this one rounded corner defeated us and we had to walk away for a few days (much like my nemesis outlet when I was doing the planking) but eventually we figured it out and got it done. I'll be honest: this was mostly Aaron's doing. I'm not quite tall enough, coordinated enough, or math-y enough to handle crown molding. It was for sure the hardest part of doing this room!


After I got all patches and caulk on the trim sanded down I just taped and painted. After the mental and physical work involved with getting the planks and trim up, painting the trim was so pleasantly easy and mindless.

We also had to sand down part of the bedroom door. When the house settled the door frame became not even close to square so that when the door was closed I had to put every bit of my (not inconsiderable) weight behind my shoulder and SHOVE. It closes perfectly now!

And then! I cleaned. I mean, DEEP cleaned. Thanks to all the sanding there was dust in every last nook and cranny of that room. I washed everything from the fan blades to the baseboards then gave the most thorough vacuuming of my life.

And then, finally...I had an empty room.




Which is good because I had a hallway full of baby furniture and accoutrements that we were all a little tired of stepping around!


SO CLOSE. Stay tuned for a few more snippets and the final product!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

PSA: The Perfect Baseball Tee

This morning Janssen and I went shopping and ducked into Forever 21. Right by the door were these baseball tees. We each grabbed a color before making the rounds and heading for the dressing room.



Here's the thing with baseball tees- if you steal one from the guy's side of the aisle, the neck is probably too small. But, for some reason, if you get a women's baseball tee the neckline is super WIDE (I love my maternity one but I have to safety-pin my bra straps in place). I've been through quite a few baseball tees at this point and have found decent ones but have yet to find one that I LOVE.

Until today!



Not only is it a great length with a perfect neckline and an awesome little pocket, it is ALSO $7.80. I bought two different colors (I think Janssen did too). I got them in a size large and they fit just dandy over my 7 month belly. I can easily wear them afterward as well. The best!

Go get one!
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Bump Style | Borrowing

It seems way too early to be looking longingly at Aaron's side of the closet but...here we are.


My shape changes with each pregnancy and this time I am carrying low and large! Proof:


Thirty weeks with each of my three babies. I think it's pretty obvious why I felt cutest with Baby 2...

We went out to dinner with Janssen and her husband the other night and I reached for a maternity shirt that I haven't even worn yet this pregnancy but which easily got me through to the end with my boys. It gaped heavily in the bust and the buttons over my belly threatened to pop off when I took a deep breath. After multiple attempts at adjusting I finally turned to Aaron and said, "Can I please borrow a shirt?" He must have seen the desperation in my face because he just laughed and said, "Sure."


Every once in a while I get a little sad that this is our last baby. But then I look at my swollen feet and fingers (my wedding ring won't even go over my knuckle) and I think, "Oh thank heavens I'm done."

Two more months. I can do this!
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Nursery Progress | Painting the Planks



After my caulk and patches sat for 24 hours I gave all the planks a gentle sanding with an electric sander and 150 grit sandpaper. I wore my mask for this. Again, miserable, but sawdust got EVERYWHERE and I felt no need to introduce that stuff into my lungs as they healed from a summer cold.

Glamorous!


Also, my dad put The Fear of the Sander in me when he was giving me my power tool demonstration. At the time it didn't even have any actual sandpaper on it (just the velcro pad) and it easily took a corner off a plastic tub in their garage. He said, "Imagine that's your knuckle." No thank you. I wore Aaron's heavy-duty gardening gloves every time I used the sander and came out mercifully unscathed.

After sanding I vacuumed the crevices then wiped down the walls with a damp rag to remove any sawdust. Then I taped, and got to priming! Finally!



I felt like getting the tape up where the chair rail would eventually go helped me to finally see the end goal. Up until this point I had sort of been questioning my decision!


I felt even better once I got one wall primed.

Hallelujah this just might work.

I primed all the boards and then had to walk away for a weekend (plans, etc.) but came back a few days later and gave the priming another gentle sanding and wiping down. I learned from my previous sanding experience that I would end up with stuff coating my person. Since I had recently washed my hair I added a shower cap.

It just gets better and better!


I rolled on a second coat of primer. Then I switched to 220 grit sandpaper and gave it another sanding.

At this point my dad came over and helped me finish the corners. There are 4 rounded corners in the room and I spent ages at Home Depot agonizing over trim options trying to come up with something that could be used to finish them. They had nothing workable for my skill level. Finally I called my dad and he said he'd come over and help me out. There were angles and a chop saw involved and I never would have figured it out on my own. This is what 20+ years of carpentry allows you to do:


He used more of the 5mm underlayment and just caulked it into place once the pieces were cut. After the caulk dried I ground it down with the sander to give a more rounded edge then primed to match the rest of the planking.

I gave the planking one more really good wipe down with a damp rag because it was PAINTING TIME HALLELUJAH.

I agonized over my paint options (is there really a difference in quality between brands? What about rollers?) but it was this post from Vintage Revivals that finally convinced me to shell out for Sherwin Williams paint. I put a lot of time and energy into this project and we are going to live here for a while so I really wanted the paint to look awesome and be durable. I color matched to my existing trim and crossed my fingers.


Priming: done!

I say this as a totally unsponsored statement: I am a convert to Sherwin Williams. The cheap paint I used under the planks gave crap coverage. After 2 coats I had gone through most of the gallon and would have had to go buy another gallon and roll on at least one more coat to get full coverage. The Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint went on like a DREAM. I probably could have gotten away with one coat but I did two and still had a half gallon left with which to paint my trim a few days later. It was AMAZING. Lesson learned.


Also: painting my 6 inch planks with a 6 inch roller was extremely satisfying. It felt so very orderly. So there's that.

I did one coat and by the time I got back to my starting place the paint was already dry. So I just went around again. It's possible that I should have sanded but by that point I was all sanded out. I don't think my paint job is any worse for the wear because of it.


The paint likes to bubble a bit between the planks. I took a cheap x-acto knife and swiped it through to remove any paint.


After the planks dried I went around and gave everything a general wipe down (sawdust. everywhere). And then I pulled up all the plastic and dared to dream that someday, eventually, I would be finished.

Next up: trim!
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Warm Fuzzies

Aaron and I often talk about how we want to teach our kids to be good, KIND people. It's not an easy or obvious thing, teaching kindness and love to small children who are still struggling with sharing and not hitting when they're upset. There are plenty of days when we wonder if we're making any progress at all.

Last year a 5th grader at Stinky's school had a stroke and went into a coma. He was a kindergartner at the time and had never met the girl but he was determined to find a way to help her. When the school announced that they were collecting loose change to help the girl's mother with hospital bills, Stinky marched right up to his piggy bank and emptied the whole thing into a heavy duty plastic bag. His backback was extra heavy the next day as he carted that bag to school. He'd been saving for ages and he didn't even think twice about giving up ALL his money to help someone in need.

Having fun at the park in new duds from Schoola!


Right in the feels, you guys. I've never been more proud.

Since then whenever we pass a collection box for Phoenix Children's Hospital he asks for a coin to put in. "For the girl from my school!"

It was a horrifically sad situation (last I heard, though, she was doing really well!) but it gave my son the chance to learn that sometimes sad things happen to others and it's up to us to try and help in whatever way we can. I hope he always remembers the way he felt when he turned in that bag of change!

Want to help give back to others? Shop for gently used clothing for your kids this year with Schoola! PLUS you can get 20% off your order with the code BacktoSchoola20.  

Shopping with Schoola provides much needed funds for programs in deserving schools (like Yick Wo in San Francisco) and you get super affordable back-to-school clothes for your kids! I love when shopping gives me warm fuzzies!

This post is brought to you by Schoola, the best place to buy discounted kids clothes all while giving back to schools in need. Click here to learn more about Schoola. Click here to see what people are saying.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

WishingWantingNotFitting

I just got an email that Gap is having a 40% off sale from August 7-10 (use code FFBEST). Normally I'd be snapping up a few new pieces for fall buuuut no. I'm quite large. And even after that passes I'm going to be nursing (which, in my experience, is even harder to dress for than pregnancy). So right now I'm just dreaming.



1. LOVE the tonal pinks with those gray booties. I always forget how much I like soft pink until I see it on other people!
2. Right now I am allll about being comfortable. I wouldn't mind a pair of track pants...
3. THAT JACKET. Also, you can't really see it but the dip dye shirt she's wearing underneath is fab and I want one.


Speaking of track pants, Aaron and I went head-to-head on summer styles. The results were pretty entertaining....


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