Keeping it really real: snazzing up the master bedroom.

2.26.2011

Our master bedroom could probably win an award for least glamorous master bedroom to have ever existed.  It's currently worse than normal because we have a newborn rooming in and along with her came an ugly changing table.  But even on a good day, our master bedroom is my least favorite room to be in.  It's just...blah.  In the world of priorities, this comes last.  Obviously.

I'm a little embarrassed to be putting this out there, but I'm just transparent enough to do it.  Plus I need help.  I'm not good at the design-y stuff and I need to do this very cheaply.  We don't have a line item in the budget for decorating which is the biggest reason our room looks like this to begin with.  I'm dedicating the next few months to redoing this room, though, and I need to get it done as cheaply as humanly possible.  So like Adalyn's nursery, most everything will need to be a DIY project.  And I'm very, very, very open to ideas here.  When we do have our room back to ourselves, I want it to be cozy and snuggly and romantic.  I want it to be a place I enjoy being.

Okay, enough suspense, let's just get to the pictures, shall we?  These are horrible pictures because we have bad lighting in this room, especially in light of the fact that one window is covered with...a bed sheet.  Yeah, that's embarrassing.  Like I said, this room is our last priority.

Welcome to our (tiny) master bedroom:

Photobucket

Take note of the ugly changing table, the basket full of cloth diapers, the super old & ugly fan, the space heater and a whole bunch of cords all crammed in one little corner of our tiny room.  Glamorous, no?

Photobucket

To our right, you'll find the bed sheet curtain (long story short is that when we switched rooms, we somehow lost the extra curtain rod for our other curtain and we haven't gotten around to buying a new one yet), our cheap Target dresser that has not fared well (in other words, the bottom of the dresser drawers are literally falling out), a whole bunch of junk on our dresser and a mismatched bed set (in my defense, it normally isn't so bad but our matching duvet is in the dryer):

Photobucket

Like I said, it's normally not this bad.  Picture a black duvet with matching flowers.  Actually, I'll do you one better.  Here it is.

Photobucket

Oh, and we don't have bedside tables.  We did, but our room is too small to fit them in, so we have this antique table from Tim's grandmother on my side:

Photobucket

And, ahem, a Rubbermaid container on poor Tim's side.  If you could see me right now, I'm blushing.  And yes, we clearly have a baby with a cold on our hands.

Photobucket

Oh, and then here's my current "sewing area."  This is exactly why I'm not sewing right now.

Photobucket

And maybe you can get a good feel of how small our space is with this picture.  And funny sidenote: I was looking forward to not being pregnant anymore so that I didn't have to lug around a baby with me every second of every day.  But as this picture proves, turns out I'm still lugging around a baby with me every second of every day.  This is the only way I can get anything done with this fusspot.  

Photobucket

So there you have it.  Isn't it lovely (cue Stevie Wonder)?  I have tons of ideas brewing in my head that I'll share with each reno stage.  Because this project will have many reno stages over many months. 

Ben: Version 2.0

2.23.2011

We had a lot of health issues during Ben's first 18 months of life.  There was blood in his poop the first month, then the non-stop spitting up and the green poop and the eczema (food allergy related).  Then there was the time he swelled up when we gave him peanut butter and the fact that he pretty much dropped off the percentile charts after being at 50% for awhile.  Then a horrible face rash plagued him all winter last year.  Luckily, though, he's now healthy as can be!

I was really praying for a healthier baby this time around.  Unfortunately, it's quickly becoming clear that we are dealing with the same issues.  Only we can add crying-almost-every-minute-she's-awake-if-she's-not-being-worn to the list.  And being held isn't good enough.  She actually doesn't even really like being held.  She must be WORN.  She's been gassy and fussy for a few weeks now.  Then she started getting some mild baby acne a week ago.  That took a turn for the worse and in the past few days, has gotten horrible.  It's ALL over her face, her neck, her back, her chest, even in her ears and on her eyelids.  I'm not even sure this is baby acne now.  Her face feels like sandpaper.

Then enter today's newest symptom.  The green, mucus poop.  Sorry, but you are reading a mom blog.  The tell-tale milk intolerance poop.

I went off dairy and gluten and wheat and eggs starting on Monday.  I'm living on chips and salsa and coconut milk.  Yum.

It wouldn't be so bad if she weren't obviously in such pain.  At least with Ben, he seemed mostly content despite his issues.  It breaks my heart to see my baby hurting and not know what to do for her.

The silver lining is that we went through it all with Ben and came out on the other side with a healthy, happy (well, when he's not being two years old) toddler.  We'll survive this, too.  We could just use a few prayers that she gets some relief from the pain soon.

My poor, poor baby girl:

Photobucket

She's baaaack.

2.22.2011

You might remember (if you've followed my blog for awhile) that I was kind of nutty about healthy food and organic products and the like.  Then this thing called pregnancy happened, and suddenly all that stuff just didn't seem important.  Well, not that it wasn't important, more like I just didn't have the energy.  During the first trimester, I was in pure survival mode, barely able to pick myself up off the couch long enough to pour Ben a bowl of cheerios.  There was no way I could do something like make him yogurt or spend hours trying to fit organic food into our budget.  The latter is no easy feat, let me tell you.  Even when I did have the energy to hunt coupons & read deal blogs, I still couldn't really make it work with our budget.  Then I spent the second and third trimester obsessing about names, daydreaming about the nursery and sneaking in naps when I could.  To be brutally honest, I was just flat lazy during my pregnancy.

I did a whole little dorky series here called "Saving money & living better while roughin' it old school."  You can read it here, here and here if you feel so inclined.  I really did actually do that stuff, but I got away from it all.

But I'm BACK!  And I'm bound and determined to actually make this work for our budget.  So I'm making a lot of stuff.  Like:

Photobucket
Homemade poptarts.  Verdict?  Yummy, but next time I'll add much more jelly and cream cheese (thanks to a tip from my friend, Melissa).  Heavenly Homemakers is FILLED with yummy and healthy recipes.  You'll want to have healthier things like rapadura/sucanat, honey, coconut oil, whole wheat flour, etc., on hand to make a lot of her stuff.

Coconut brownies.  Verdict?  OMGINSANELYGOOD.  I did everything the same except I subbed 1/2 cup coconut oil for the butter.  I almost always sub in coconut oil when a baking recipe calls for butter because I feel like it's healthier and I like the taste better.  Her site is another awesome one for recipes.  I've loved almost everything I've made from her blog.

Photobucket
Homemade yogurt.  My mom picked up this yogurt maker back at a garage sale when I was a baby, so there's no telling how old this thing is.  But it still works like a champ, churning out easy & yummy yogurt.  And honestly?  I feel kind of like a rockstar when I put homemade yogurt in Ben's bowl.  You can buy brand new yogurt makers on the cheap but get one at a garage sale for $5 and I bet it'll work just as well.  And then there's always the crockpot option, which I've also done and works great, the consistency is just generally runnier.  But making organic yogurt is so much cheaper this way than the store bought stuff.

Photobucket
Butterscotch bars.  Verdict?  WOWSERS.  You might not want to make these if you have a sweet tooth like me.  I can't stay away from them.  Seriously.  The first time I made them I literally ate half the pan in a day.  I used coconut oil instead of butter for this, too.  A bonus is that these are so easy to make that it takes like three minutes.  Plus, even if you do absolutely pig out on them, at least you can feel good about the fact that there's nothing refined in them.  All whole wheat flour and sucanat!

I have no idea if I'll be able to make this work with our budget this time around, but I'm going to try like crazy!  I stocked up on organic, free-range chicken when it was on sale for $1.69 a lb (!!!!!!) at Whole Foods last week.  I joined a CSA.  I'm back to placing orders with the co-op in my area.  I'm in the process of finding a local (and relatively cheap) source for our eggs and meat.  My next big goal is to get a chest freezer so we can buy a side of beef.  You get the point.  I'm so excited to re-start this journey now that the morning sickness & laziness of pregnancy are far behind me!

Photobucket
Ben enjoying his homemade yogurt and green smoothie (kale, milk, honey, blueberries and mangoes, mmm!)

Editing - I feel like such a newborn baby.

2.17.2011

Let's just be honest.  I don't have a clue what I'm doing.  Okay, now that that's out of the way, I feel like you might judge these a little less harshly.  I installed a trial version of Photoshop Elements to see if I feel like shelling out the big bucks for Photoshop or if PE will suit my needs.  Then I just played around like a helpless newborn baby, new to the world but basking in the excitement of it all.

But like I said, I don't have a clue what I'm doing.  Can someone please critique me - brutally?

Brightened up, tried to make the colors pop a little more:

Photobucket

Just b&w with some eye brightening and "air brushing":

Photobucket

These are kind of vintage-y, lightened up, a little pink (some eye brightening):

Photobucket


Photobucket

Why I cloth diaper...

2.16.2011

This is just one of many, many reasons (and the shallowest, I should add).  Who doesn't want to do laundry when it's this pretty?

Photobucket

Photobucket

Adalyn's Nursery: The Pretty Much Final Edition

2.15.2011

I won't say much, because in this case pictures speak louder than any words I can come up with.  But here is Adalyn's nursery in its mostly finished glory.  There are still two projects looming over my head (bedskirt in curtain fabric and some hot pink & light pink pom-poms to hang from the ceiling), but they are as likely to happen as the supposed sweets ban I've implemented in my house (I made brownies last night), so I'm calling this nursery done and patting myself on the back.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket



Adalyn's birth video.

2.10.2011

I did this for Ben, too, so I thought it only fitting that I would put one together for Adalyn. It's long but it totally makes me cry every time I watch it. :)

What Ben can do in 11 minutes.

I recently reorganized Ben's playroom, finding a clever use for our coffee table that we didn't know what to do with.  It's just too big for our tiny living room.  Here's what it looked like all prettied up and organized.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

And exactly eleven minutes after waking up, Hurricane Ben whipped his fury on his playroom, leaving this in his wake:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

ELEVEN minutes, ya'll.  He has mad skills, I guess.  Also explains why my house is never clean for longer than 30 minute intervals.

Photo Phun.

2.09.2011

I'm not a brilliant photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but my editing is even worse.  If anyone has some good editing tips or tutorials you can point me in the direction of (I don't have photoshop), it would be much appreciated.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

She melts my heart.

Oh snap!

Wow, I'm cheesy.

A year and a half ago, we made a big decision to drop a big chunk of change on a big camera.  Well, not really because we had a lot of Best Buy reward points and birthday money, making it free to us, but still.  We could have done other things with the points/birthday money.  Like buy a TV.  Or a computer.  You get my drift.

Anyway.  We got a Nikon D5000 and I've loved it.  I just haven't learned it.  The straight-out-of-camera shots are great, as is the auto setting.  But I want to do more!  I want to learn to edit and adjust the aperture and ISO and shutter speed and take really cool pictures!

So I am.  Starting yesterday.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an article that really spoke to me (wish I could find it now to link to, but I can't).  It was essentially about how SAHMs spend way too much time online: on message boards discussing their children's poop and tantrums, on facebook (sometimes inappropriately discussing poop and tantrums: guilty!), etc.  We've replaced real life, face-to-face friendships with online ones.  I don't think it's a terrible thing to get social interaction online, but I do way too much of it.  I'm on facebook a lot.  I'm on my message board a lot.  I have to admit, I really miss the working world for this reason.  I miss that daily social interaction.  These days, I find things like this coming out of my mouth:

Take that crayon out of your ear!
No, we cannot go outside in the foot-deep snow barefoot.
Please don't pick your sister's nose.
If you eat this pea, I will give you a cookie.

And so on.  But getting sucked into hours of facebook isn't exactly good for anyone.  Not me, not my marriage, not my kiddos.  So I decided I needed to find something to do with my free time.  Because when both kids are sleeping and the house is clean, I find myself jumping online for lack of other things to do.  I was going to learn how to sew.  But honestly, since I don't have a sewing spot, the idea of dragging my machine and all the supplies out to the kitchen table every day and then putting it back before Ben is up just sounds too draining.  By the time all that is done, that leaves very little actual sewing time.

So I'm going to learn to take pictures!  Real, quality pictures!  And to edit them!  I'll probably suck, so don't laugh.  But I'm going to have fun doing it.  

So anyway, that explains the blog layout change.  I'll be posting my pictures here, so I needed more room for bigger pictures.

The end.  Sorry if I just wasted five minutes of your life with that brain dump.

It starts.

2.01.2011

Yesterday was my first day home alone with both kiddos all day.  It wasn't as bad as it could have been.  It started out a little rocky, but by the afternoon I was feeling more confident.

So I guess I woke up even more confident, convinced that today would be a breeze.  But then little missy decided to start up a very familiar habit; one we lived with for the first seven months of her big brother's life.

Spitting up.

Ben was a SPITTER.  Such a spitter that we had a stash of at least 40 bibs that we were washing every other day.  That doesn't count the outfit changes or his crib sheets or our clothes.  I remember I used to get so frustrated when I'd read in articles that "you don't have a medical problem - you have a laundry problem."  Thanks.

Addie has spit-up since day one, but it was manageable: small amounts, usually only right after eating.  But then today?   Today it started.  In the exact same way it started with Ben.  One morning he woke up and projectile spit-up everywhere.  And then more and more and more.  We called the doctor in a panic and even ended up running all sorts of tests and putting me on an elimination diet to make sure it wasn't something in my milk.  But all for naught and we just ended up resigning ourselves to doing loads and loads and loads of laundry.

I was so hoping we wouldn't go down this road again.  Today we've been through five outfits, four bibs, mommy & daddy's bed sheet, three baby blankets and three outfit changes for mommy.  And it's 9:30.  And we've only been up since 7:00.  It's making this "taking care of two" thing a little tougher when I'm constantly running downstairs to do laundry, upstairs to clean spit-up off a little girl, to the nursery for another outfit and so on.  The silver lining in it all?  At least this time we won't spend 7 months worrying about the health of our baby.  We know she's fine.  We just have a laundry problem.

It's a good thing she's so cute!

Photobucket
Blog Design by Get Polished | Copyright © Chelsea Blogs
BACK TO TOP