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Domestic Imperfection: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Stars at Night, Are Big and Bright....

I'm finally getting around to posting the tutorial on the nursery star. I'm afraid blogging and projects are going to be a little slow going around here until we get a handle on this two under two thing...

This project started with an old copper star I had gotten years ago. I bought it for $3 back when we lived in New York and I was dying for something Texas-y in our apartment. It's been sitting in Elijah's room all lonely and forgotten, so I decided to spruce it up. I had some leftover scrapbook pieces from making the letters above Elijah's crib, so in true DIY fashion, I decided to use what I had.
First I got some scrap plywood (I feel like I say that in every blog post. One day we WILL run out of scrap plywood).  I placed the star on it and traced around it, making the plywood star a little bigger. 

I would have used a ruler, but I believe the toddler got a hold of it - which means it's probably stuffed in a dresser drawer or bookshelf somewhere. Anyway, I got resourceful and used the DVD case from one of my husbands college courses.

Then I grabbed the jigsaw (out of our newly organized mini garage!) and cut out the star.

Then I grabbed my materials...the star, the scrap paper pieces, a small paintbrush and some decoupage glue (off brand Mod Podge).

The husband wasn't coming home that night, the boy was in bed, and I felt some catching up in Teen Mom was much needed. Here is what my evening looked like...
(Try not to be jealous of my sweet internet-less, camera-less, text-less phone - you know you miss the simplicity!)

The  process was really simple, I just coated the back of a paper piece in decoupage glue, put it on the star, and wrapped it around the back. I didn't worry about the center - the copper star is going to cover that up. The hardest part was folding the points juuuust right so that they didn't look all jacked up.
It may have been a simple process, but it still took awhile - four Teen Mom episodes to be exact.

I coated the whole thing in decoupage glue to finish it off then just put a nail in it and hung the star!
Here is the final product, I really like the way it turned out.

Here it is on the ever changing shelf (I just now noticed those loose screws, this is Domestic Imperfection, though... )

And some close up shots....

Next up will be the decoupaged name letters above the crib (now that I know what name to use!) and the collection of little stars...

And then we leave the nursery (finally!) and get back to work on the kitchen!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meet Levi

Our little team green baby has arrived.... welcome to the world little Levi!

He came on Thursday, October 20th (at 39weeks and 5 days) and weighs in at a whopping (for me) 7lbs 11oz.  Oh, and a very short 18.5 inches.
He is totally adorable and looks nothing like my other son  (who was also totally adorable).  Look at all that thick black hair - quite a surprise!

His labor was a dream, I couldn't have asked for a better one. I have to admit that I was expecting another doozy of a labor after Elijah's birth, which was still fresh in my mind as it was only 19 short months ago.
 Not so...thank goodness!

Here is a quick synopsis - (okay, it's not that quick...)
Adam and I woke up (haha, I meant "were awakened by a cranky toddler") at 6:30 on Thursday morning. I got up and immediately noticed that I was losing my mucus plug. It makes me cringe typing out that word to post on my blog cause it sounds so gross and inappropriate, but I don't know how to make it sound pleasant -so yeah, mucus plug. Ick. Anyway, about 8am I started having contractions. I'd been having them for weeks, but these were different. These started in my back and HURT. The timing on starting labor could't have been more perfect. I had been so worried because we are about 1 1/2 - 2 hours away from the hospital, and share one car, and had to drop the toddler off at my parents....blah, blah, blah, lot's of stuff that could have been stressful. But this was perfect. Adam had school that day and didn't go in until noon, so he was home. I already had a doctors appointment at 11:30 that day and had all my bags packed and ready to go just in case. I had already planned with my mom to drop Elijah off at her house. I had even washed the dog the night before. AND had gotten a full nights sleep.
I told the husband that I wanted him to skip school to come with me to my appointment, so we all got dressed and headed to my parents house. When we got there at about 10:30 my contractions were seven minutes apart (and getting more painful). I called my midwife and told them I was in labor and didn't want to come in yet - they were just going to tell me I was in early labor and send me home. They said just to come in when I was ready. Here I am at my parents house, in labor...

 About 1:30 my contractions were 5 minutes apart and we decided to leave. We got to the midwife's office, she checked me and said I was at a four. Four! I was so glad to hear that, with Elijah it took me 30 hours of labor to get to a four. (More on that later). We walked across to the hospital and got all checked in (around 3:00) and my contractions were about three minutes apart. They were all in my back too, because the baby was transverse. Fun stuff. I knew I wanted an epidural, but I wanted to make sure things were progressing along really well before I got one. At 4:30 I could take it anymore. I was checked again and at a six so I decided it was time for some pain relief. I asked for a mild epidural, one where I could still feel my contractions, but they wouldn't be painful. The anesthesiologist was awesome and did just that. It was great...I felt like a million bucks, lol. At that point Adam and I settled in for a long night and decided to watch some TV shows online...The Office, Up All Night, Modern Family, The Middle...
Really, I'm not kidding, I was expecting a long labor.
About 7:30 (I think?), My midwife came back and checked me again. I was an eight, so she decided to break my water. She broke it and immediately I felt weird. I told her something was wrong...she checked me again and said "oh, you went right to a ten...time to push!"
Three sets of pushes later and the kid came flying out. Seriously, it was so easy.
Adam even got to deliver him, which was very cool. And of course, we didn't know the gender...I was expecting a boy though, and was right again!

I still cannot get over his hair....

Now for a quick synopsis on Elijah's birth, so you know where I'm coming from. 
Here I am at 41 weeks with Elijah (who was also a surprise)..

With this pregnancy my husband was military and we lived up at Fort Drum in northern New York. I was creeping up on 42 weeks and the doctors were talking induction, which I desperately wanted to avoid. My birth plan was for a natural Bradley birth...I knew pitocin would make that nearly impossible. My induction was scheduled for Monday, at 42 weeks. The Saturday before was deemed (by me) "get this kid the heck out of me" day. My husband and I did everything any old wives tale said could bring on an overdue baby. Nothing worked, and Saturday night we were in our pajamas, ready for bed, watching a movie. It was a little after 9pm, and I felt totally normal. Then I heard a pop, felt a gush, and leaned over and told Adam that I thought my water just broke. Contractions started immediately. I went and took a shower,  got dressed, and we headed to the hospital -which was about two minutes away. I remember being so happy that I wasn't going to have to be induced, but also thinking how tired I already was from the day. 
We got all checked in at the hospital, contractions were about 5 minutes apart and pretty strong. The nurses checked me and I was at a one. A ONE. This was about 11:45 that night. They offered me some sleeping pills, saying I should get some rest before heavy labor set in. I really wanted some sleep, so I took them and managed to get a little. My husband, however, got a full nights rest...
(haha, he's gonna love that I posted that..)

The next morning contractions had slowed down - I was checked and was at a two. We ordered some breakfast. Walked the halls. Labored away. I don't remember times anymore, but at hour 28 of labor I was checked and was at a 2.5. Blah, I was so frustrated. They said it was time for pitocin, which I really didn't want, but I also didn't want to be in labor for a week or end up with a C-section for not progressing. Plus, I had friends that had picocin and a drug free birth, so I figured I could too. They gave me the pitocin...then cranked up WAY up. I labored for two hours like that. It was horrible. Terrible. The most awful, painful, worst two hours ever. I still have nightmares about it. At hour 30 I was checked again and at a three. A flippin three. I asked for an epidural. I say asked, like I was polite about it...haha.
I got the epidural (enter the hallelujah chorus) and immediately fell asleep. About an hour later I woke up and told Adam I felt funny. He got a nurse, she checked me and said I was at a ten and ready to push. That's right, it took me 30 hours to get to a three, then and hour to get from there to a ten. Craziness. I pushed for about an hour and a half and he came out a little blue, cord wrapped around him, hands up at his face and with the most wicked awful cone head you've ever seen. He weighed 6lbs 5oz and was 19 3/4 inches long. I tore all over the place and had a ton of stitches. Recovery was really hard, it took me over a month to feel as good as I did the day I had Levi.
 He was totally worth it.

I feel so blessed to have been given two perfectly healthy little boys. I find it amazing that people can go through pregnancy and not be completely and totally amazed by our God. He created and grew these children inside if me. I had nothing to do with it...I couldn't grow a liver or a heart if my life depended on it. There was also nothing I could do to stop it, I am simply His vessel. I pray that I can raise these boys to be honorable, hard working, compassionate men who love their families, neighbors, and most of all their God. I know I couldn't do it on my own. Luckily, I don't have to.

I know this has been a long post, if you made it this far you either know me in real life or have way too much time on your hands, lol.  Actually, this isn't quite the end...what kind of new mom would I be if I didn't bombard you with a few more pictures?

Here we are a few minutes after birth...

My two little men, who don't even look related....

Elijah getting to know Levi...

Sweet kisses (Even though he had to be bribed into taking this picture)...

Little Levi at home.

Big brother is very curious...

and proud!
(and suddenly looking way to old to just be sporting just a diaper)

Here they are, taking a break from exhausting me..

And so begins the craziness of two under two! 

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Readers Are Awesome - A Crib Solution

In yesterdays post I left you to choose between these two awkward crib set-ups...

Admittedly, neither one worked and the whole room felt weird.
But then, you awesome people swooped in with your genius suggestions and saved the day! I don't know why I hadn't though of these, I blame it on pregnancy brain ;) 
In my head the reading chair was stuck where it was at. There is a weird, small, angled wall in one corner, and the chair fit so well that in my head it had to stay. 

I took all your suggestions to heart, and this morning Elijah and I grabbed our measuring tapes and got to work. There were only two suggestions that actually fit into the space - the first was moving the dresser to the window wall and putting a crib on each of the other walls. I tried that first because I liked the idea of having the cribs on different sides of the room.

(Sorry about the terrible's impossible to get good lighting in this room.)
This was definitely an improvement, but it felt kinda cramped - mostly because the crib stuck out  into the doorway by a lot.
 The other suggestion was the clear winner, thank you Katie from Craptastic!

Would it work if you put the chair in the corner, then a crib on each wall on each side of the chair? Does that make sense? Not sure if there is enough room to do that. It's looks good though!

Why yes Katie, it DOES work...

I love it....I feel so much better about this room than I did yesterday. It was such a simple solution but made a world of difference! Thank you everyone for your suggestions, I really appreciate it! 
Of course, this does mean I have to move those dang name letters again...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Never Ending Nursery Project...

It's been awhile since I've updated y'all on the nursery progress. I don't know why this project is taking me so long, I'm just never in the mood to work on it. Actually I know exactly why...and no, it's not cause I'm 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant - though that would be a good excuse. It's because it's not my favorite room. Not that I'm hating it, it's just that it's a cramped dark room (with to many cribs) that I'm doing the best I can with a bunch of free stuff. I'm just saying, don't judge my decorating abilities too harshly based on this nursery.  Give me a blank slate, a little bit of a budget, and a baby that I know the gender of and I'd knock you socks off, I know it. 

Anyway, blah, blah, blah...Here are some pictures :)
Last time I updated I had just ordered the second crib. Now it's here and all set up...and totally a portable mini crib. Poor second kid. There's just not enough room in here for two full size cribs, plus this one was way cheap. 

Looks fine right?
 (Besides the fact that it really needs a crib skirt and a name above it.)

Well, here is a different view...


I could also turn it this way....

I think they look a little less awkward parallel, like that's just the sleeping corner. Thing is, with the white crib sticking out the room gets really small. 

Here are both positions again so y'all can help me decide.

I don't know...either way looks like a mini daycare, lol. 

On the book sling wall I made and hung a shelf...I like the placement but think it needs chunkier supports. These are just the uber cheap ones and I think they look unsubstantial and, well, wimpy.
I also made a big star which I totally love. It has it's own blog post coming up so I'm not going to tell you anymore... except that it took me four episodes of  Teen Mom to make :)

We also removed the closet door to replace it with a curtain. I bought it off of Amazon because it was so cheap that I couldn't justify making one. Much to my surprise I opened up the package to find a sheer. Oops! I decided to hang it up just to see how it looked - I was sure I was going to hate it. Actually, it works can see through it just enough to make the room feel bigger without totally revealing the contents of the closet.
 Getting things in and out of the closet is a breeze now too. Before the door opened about halfway before hitting the chair, which wasn't quuuuite enough for me to squeeze my pregnant body through. 

I think another reason the rooms feels a little weird is that chair. I really like the chair, but I feel like the fabric doesn't go. It's too busy...I think a solid aqua/teal would have been a better choice. I feel bad even saying that because my mom helped me make it...sorry Mom, I still appreciate your help and think you did a great job!

And so, I officially get to cross a few more things off the list!
  • Sand and paint chair and ottoman
  • Reupholster chair and ottoman
  • Make and hang book slings
  • Make and hang shelf
  • Move Elijah's crib and name letters
  • Buy and assemble new crib
  • Make star decor
  • Make new baby name letters
  • Paint closet
  • Sort and organize baby clothes
  • Remove closet door
  • Buy/make and hang closet curtain
  • Make growth charts
  • Buy another dresser for closet
  • Organize closet
  • New cloth diaper set-up
  • ADDED: Make crib skirts

 The growth charts are going to have to wait...I decided I like this one I found on Etsy. It's made out of beadboard, so I'll wait until we do our kitchen backsplashes and use scraps from that. 

Obviously the name letters have to wait until I know what name to make. I also want to make a few more little stars out of decoupaged scrapbook paper and hang them like so...

And that's where I'm at. I'll finish it's certainly ready enough for me to have a baby any day, and that's what really matters!

Update: We have a crib here to see what it is!

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Ceiling Fan Lampshades - Second Time's the Charm

A few days ago I posted about the lampshades I made for our ceiling fans. I also mentioned how much the husband hated the (very girly) fabric I choose to cover them with.  Despite hating them, he did say "If you like them that's all that matters". Awwww, so sweet. Now I really had to change them.
 As a refresher, here is a before picture of the fan...
(there's two actually, but a picture that includes both is kinda hard to see)

And here is the after picture with my girly fabric...

I went on a dig in my big fabric bin and pulled out everything that I thought might look good on the shades. Then I laid them out and asked the husband to pick one. 
We have...1) burlap 2) fabric I'm planning to use on the inside of the entertainment center we will one day get around to building 3) leftover fabric from the laundry room W/D curtains 4) leftover fabric from my dumpster rocker 5) Amy Butler fabric, same as I used on the lampshades but in a different color.

He choose lucky number three - leftover fabric from our laundry room. 
That was the one I was leaning towards as well...nicely done, baby.

First I had the task of pulling off the old fabric. Let me just say this...I did a bang up job of putting that fabric on - it did not want to come off. I am WAY better than Target at making lampshades. 

The process of putting on the new fabric was the same as before, but a little more difficult since I was using thick home decor fabric. They turned out great, and I have to admit, I like them better than before.

Here's all three again for easy comparison..

What do you think...better?

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