Tuesday, August 26, 2014

nursery: deer and horses and owls, oh my!

Wow.  My child is almost 5 months old and has been living in her room for the last 4 months and I still haven't finished blogging about her room.  So far, I've blogged about the walls and trim, the craigslist dresser, built-in shelving, and the plank wall.  Now for all of the accessories and decorations. 

Since the plank wall with the built-in shelving is the focal point of the room, I wanted to create a focal point of the focal point.  I thought it would be cool to do a big, dramatic letter "M" for her name.  Since we don't exactly have the tools (yet) to cut an "M" out of wood, I thought I would use the next best thing - foam core poster board.  I felt like an almost 30 year old getting ready for a science fair project when I bought it. 

The first thing I did was cut a large "M" out using a straight edge and a box cutter.  Honestly, to make the measurements I used a baby shower envelope.  Pretty scientific, huh? 

Next, I cut one inch strips to make the M 3D. 

Then, using a hot glue gun, I glued the strips on the edge of of the M to make it flush.


(You can see the seam on the M which ended up driving me NUTS.  I later found a huge piece of foam board the could accommodate the entire letter.  I traced the M on the larger piece, cut it out, then glued it on top.  Now it's seamless and doesn't make my skin crawl.)

I later painted it the same color as her room which I'll show in the next post.

Then, after hitting up Goodwill, TJ Maxx, Kohl's, Ross, my grandparent's house, and our front yard, I had all of my decor gathered.  I like to accessorize rooms gradually.  If I see something I like (as in an animal figurine) I get it and then kind of go from there.  Next thing you know, I have the whole animal kingdom represented in McCauley's room. 

This was an owl candle holder that sat on my grandparents' back patio for years... and I mean years.  I cleaned it up and painted it silver. 

I found this dish at Goodwill for 49 cents.

The elephant is from Ross, the whale from Kohl's, the horse bookends from Goodwill, and the pear is from some random furniture store in Springfield, MO for $2.00.  And the bananas are from Checkers.  And we ate them.


These bad boys were $1.00.  You can see the painted whale tail and the painted pear in the background.

 These butterflies were in my grandparents' bathroom.  I painted them the accent color for the room, coral/peach.

Then I went to the front yard and found some sticks to paint.  I figured they kind of go with the animal/outdoors theme, so why not?

 Cozy really wanted me to throw it but then I reminded him we do not throw expensive home decor.


 I found this awesome mirror at TJ Maxx and of course thought, "Oh, I could paint this!"  And so I did.  Cozy hadn't ever seen a mirror on the floor so he was pretty interested. 


I figured the rough, natural texture of the mirror frame would complement the cedar plank wall and tie things together.  If you look carefully, you can see my giant, pregnant belly in the bottom of the picture.  

I used my trusty Martha Stewart paint for the frame.  It took a long time to paint due to the texture of the frame but it looked great when it was done!

  I used a razor blade to get the excess paint off the mirror.

I found this deer in my grandma's basement and as soon as I saw it I got very excited.  When I was little (like 6ish?) my grandma was in the hospital because of breast cancer.  I remember my aunt taking us to the gift shop to pick out some flowers for her.  I picked out this flower-filled deer and she kept it after all those years (20 plus years!).  It was originally painted to look like a real deer but of course I painted it.  I always think of my grandma when I look at it. 

You can also see the base of a table lamp behind the deer.  I found these at TJ Maxx and they were painted to look like real tree branches.  I'm not really into the "lodge" look so I painted them.  

Are you getting my vision that is finally coming together?!  A contemporary spin on the "woodland creatures" theme that fills many nurseries.  Next up, the finished project.

*P.S. No actual, live animals were hurt or painted in the process of this decorating.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

all about mac: 4 months

Weight:   16+ pounds

Height: 25"

Health: Still very healthy!  She had a couple days where her nose was a little more snotty than normal but it wasn't anything the Nose Frieda couldn't handle!

Nicknames:  Miss Mac, peanut, Macadoodle, kid, Mackey

Teething: No teeth but she continues to drool and put everything in her mouth.  She enjoys chewing on things now.

Clothing:  Some of her 3-6 month clothes are too small or don't have much room for growth.  Her cloth diaper booty takes up a lot of room.

Diapers:  Love, love, love the cloth diapers.  Still no blow out - ever.  And she's had some pretty big poops.  Diaper stuffing is just part of our every other day and it's no big deal.  It's quicker than driving to Wal-Mart but the people watching isn't as good while we stuff them.  I'm dreading when we switch to real food and therefore have to rinse the poop off before we wash them.  However, Ehren has agreed to be the poop-sprayer.  Should I get that in writing?

Eating:  Obviously she continues to eat well as evidenced by her chunky thighs and Michelin-girl arms.  I've got a freezer full of milk - I'm talking gallons and gallons of milk.  I kind of feel like a milk hoarder.  Thoughts that go through my head: What if I run out?  What if my supply suddenly ends?  Why did I only pump X number of ounces?  Am I drying up? 
Sleeping (night):  No more swaddle!  We gradually weaned her out of it from the super tight "Miracle blanket" to the Halo swaddle, to swaddled with one arm out, to just a sleep sack now.  It definitely makes it easier for grandparents when they put her down for a nap.  She's only waking up 1x a night which isn't bad considering she's going through the "4 month sleep regression".  At night, we feed her and then just lie her down in the crib awake.  She puts herself to sleep and I LOVE that.  I want to start healthy sleeping habits from the beginning so she doesn't rely on us to get to sleep. 

Sleeping (naps):  Naps are okay - sometimes she'll sleep only 45 minutes a nap and sometimes she'll go 3 hours if we let her.  What is wonderful is that if we are out and about running errands and she misses a nap, she doesn't melt down (yet).  She'll catch little power naps (15-30 minutes) that keep her happy.  For nap time, we just lie her down in the crib, usually with a binkie, then she'll kind of whine and put herself to sleep.  We know she'll be successful when she turns her head side to side while her eyes roll back in her head.  One of my favorite things is watching her put herself to sleep.  So cute.

Social:  Talking all the time.  Cooing and singing and screaming.  She's smiling more and more at people she knows.  She tends to study and observe strangers which is pretty cute.  I love how, even though only 4 months old, she already recognizes her family.

Likes:  Going on walks, tummy time, sitting outside, Cozy, putting toys in her mouth, she loves her burp rags just as much as her toys (maybe because they smell like my milk?), grabbing our faces, talking and looking at me while I nurse her, reading books, and she loves when we sing to her.  We can't sing her to sleep because it just makes her more awake.  Maybe she'll be an opera singer like her daddy?

Dislikes: Sometimes being held.. especially when she's tired.  We notice that if she's fed and diaper changed and she's still fussy, she probably just wants to be put down.  My mom noticed she was perhaps overstimulated while she was babysitting and so she put her upstairs on the bed.  She talked to herself for 10 minutes or so and then fell asleep.  Guess she likes her alone time!

New this month:  Rolling over!  It's the cutest thing to see her throw her head to one side and her chunky little body follows right over.  Her expression afterwards is pretty cute as well.  Lots more drooling and talking and much more interactive.  She's not wanting to nurse as soon as she wakes up which is nice.  She gets super happy and excited when she wakes up and we peak our heads over her crib.  Those smiles melt my heart.  I wish I were that happy when I woke up!

Fun things we did:  
  • Springfield, MO to visit friends
  • Book club
  • Aunt Katie and grandma babysat while mom and dad went on a date
  • Went to Great Grandma and Grandpa Shirley's  

Mom:  Things are good with me!  Still getting my work outs in and trying to stay active most days of the week.  McCauley is getting to be so fun right now - very interactive and so fun to love. 

Dad:  Ehren continues to amaze me as a dad.  It's just so natural for him and I can tell he's going to be the "fun" one.  His imagination is incredible and I love how he names each animal and gives them a specific voice.  I had to work a weekend and it was so nice not to have to say "Okay, the milk needs to be thawed and warmed up, make sure to do this, make sure she takes a nap, she doesn't like this", etc., etc.  He's such a hands on dad and needs no teaching.  I could just leave at the drop of the hat and he could handle everything without having to call me and ask.  That, my friends, is a man. 

What we are looking forward to:  Sleeping through the night, cool weather and lots of walks, more talking and smiling, laughing. 

This month in pictures: 

Tummy time with the help of Cozy.

Mac and her daycare buddy Asa.  

Just striking a pose. 

Cuddle time with mommy. 

And this is why we transitioned out of the swaddle!

When Mac is away (taking a nap), Cozy will lay.  #doghairdontcare

Uggggghhh... she's so cute. 

 Date night (alone) at home!

McCauley staring at Holland's flower in her hair. 

I wish the poor kid could get some attention. 

Great grandpa Loyal.

The last polar vortex we had, I used it to freeze crock pot meals when we ran out of freezer space.  This summer's polar vortex called for eating dinner outside!

But first, let me take a selfie.

Front porch sittin' with grandpa Jim.

What a sweet pea!

Ugh, she is such a pain to travel with!

We went down to Springfield to spend the weekend with two other couples and all of our kids.  My favorite quote from the weekend, "you can cut his arm off but you can't hit him!"

Cooper and McCauley.  Future husband and wife.

"Okay, bye kids!  We're going to Branson!  Be good."

New baby Cole and McCauley.

She loves outlet mall shopping!  Those eyes, those cheeks, those dimples, that smile!

Hadley left him hangin'.  Diss. 

I love the Ergo for shopping.

Six adults and six kids under the age of six.  

"Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

Unfortunately, Mac wasn't tall enough to drive the go-karts.

Ehren hates children, can't you tell?

Hadley, Lucy, McCauley, Kennedy, Cole, Cooper.  I can't wait to re-create this picture over the years.

Other favorite quote from the weekend, "Mom, Cooper kissed me.  Like, for real."

 Helping mom with last month's blog post. 

I got this father/daughter selfie when I was at work.. it made me smile. 

Ready for church!

She's even serious when she sleeps. 

She's graduated to the big tub with her sponge!  She can splash much more this way and it's adorable to watch.  

She was not being a very good napper one day but I didn't let that cut my work out short!  She just watched from afar and did her own version of leg lifts. 

We made homemade pizzas one night.  In the background - prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, arugula.  In the foreground - chorizo, manchego cheese, kale.  So good!

Mac is so nice to share her new toy with Cozy. 

I can't believe she's already 4 months old!  

the black plague, part III: front door

Now the black plague has moved to the front door.  While I think the "rustic" and "distressed" look has its place, I do...

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