About Me

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I am a 29 year old teacher of fourth grade. My husband and I began TTC in March of 2008. We conceived our first month, but unfortunately it only ended in an early miscarriage. 8 months later we finally conceived again, and she was our take-home baby! Norah Jane was born on July 16, 2009. 7lbs 0oz 19" long and amazing. We recently had our sweet baby boy, Miles! He was born on June 12, 2013 at 3:37pm, weighing in at 8lbs 4oz, 20 inches long, and PERFECT! We are loving every minute of parenthood (even the frustrating minutes!). This blog is an attempt to chronicle the baby steps, foot steps, leaps, bounds, and milestones of this journey.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My New Hobby


First, my new favorite picture of Norah. :) 



A few weeks before Christmas, Daniel always asks me, "Ok, so what do you want for Christmas?" He's not much in the way of surprising me with something he picked out, but it is nice to know that I am going to get what I really want. He does the same thing for my birthday. Anyway, most years I just don't know what I want. I really do have most everything that I want-- I mean, there's always luxury items that I'd love to have, and better versions of something I already have (like makeup brushes or straightening iron, etc.), but rarely do I have something on the tip of my tongue that I just really WANT. This year, I did. I wanted a sewing machine.

My mother used to make us simple little dresses when we were kids. I remember her laying out her big cardboard cutting mat in the living room floor and threatening us with our lives if we touched her pink scissors (meaning her fabric scissors). We didn't understand what the big deal about those scissors was-- now I know! Anway, I loved  the things that she would make us. For the most part they were just simple little dresses with button closure and two square pockets on the front. I remember wearing those dresses until they fell apart. The pockets were perfect. My sister and I would go pick blackberries and put them in those large pockets. We were awesome. Because of these fond memories, I wanted a sewing machine of my own. 

So I asked Daniel for a sewing machine. The next day he informed me to not look on our Amazon account because I wasn't supposed to ruin the surprise. :) So Christmas Day came and I couldn't wait to open my present! Lo and behold, it was a sewing machine. This one in fact:


He also got me a gift card to go to a local fabric shop, which was so thoughtful. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to bust into the thing and get started, I had to wait. We planned on surprising my parents on Christmas morning in South Carolina. So really, I got my sewing machine on Christmas eve morning, because we made that our Christmas Day so that we could do the surprise. We were going to be in SC for almost a week, so I took it with us! Good thing I did, too, because my mom, who knew I was getting this of course, bought me a pair of Gingher Fabric Shears and a pair of Gingher Pinking Shears. Those are amazing by the way. 

Fast forward----> I started off wobbly. My first project turned out ok, but I was SO proud of it. I forgot to mention: I have NEVER sewn before getting this machine. EVER. So anything I accomplished was a fantastic feat for me. :) Since receiving it, I have made quite a few things. A few skirts for me (I have yet to make the perfect fitting pattern. They are always too big!), a few dresses for Norah, a bunch of quilted bibs, and a horribly failed dress for me. Here are some to look at:
This was my first outfit. 





I LOVE sewing, and I hope to do it for many more years. I just made her Easter Dress today, but I've got to alter it a bit and add some tulle before it is finished. 







Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tornado warnings.

I'm not from Tennessee, therefore I am not used to tornado warnings. I am shocked everytime I hear the tornado sirens going off. That being said, I am used to hurricane warnings-- I am from the coast of SC, even survives a direct hit from a category 4 (Hugo). But since hurricanes and tornados are similar, I handle them well-- it's just te short notice thing that I have trouble with.

This week alone we've had two major tornado warnings. Yesterday I rushed home from school and got home with about 15 minutes to spare before it hit us HARD. It was clear as day, then all of the sudden it changed to darkness, then torrential rain, then hail. Once the hail came, and we could feel the windows being pushed in, we grabbed Norah and ran to our storm shelter room. When we came out we found more hail than I've ever seen.

Norah did really well, she just did not want to be cooped up in the shelter. Tough cookies.

Play Kitchen!

I was reading back though my older posts and I realized that there are so many posts that I SAY I am going to do in a separate post, but I never do. One includes a post dedicated to the present that we gave Norah for her 2nd birthday: Her play kitchen. I am going to attempt the post now, but seeing as though the little one is 2 1/2 years old, she may not allow me to completely finish. So here goes:

I knew that I wanted Norah to have a play kitchen for her 2nd birthday-- she loves helping me in the kitchen, and we already had a Wal-greens brand teeny tiny play kitchen that she got for Christmas from her aunt. It was cute, but it was very cheaply made, and it was so poorly constructed that if she tried to open the oven part, it would practically fall over on her. I knew that I didn't want to buy one of the Step2 ones or whatnot, because I HATE that plastic stuff being around the house. Plus, where's the fun in just buying one? So, we decided to make one out of an old entertainment center.

I had seen the repurposed entertainment center Kitchen online a few times, so I took the elements I liked about each of them and put all of it into ours. I think ours turned out AMAZINGLY! So, here it is:


Now let's talk about how this thing came to be. First I had to find an entertainment center. This was a difficult part of the process. For some reason, everyone wanted to sell their piece of junk to me for like $50-- wasn't happening. So one day, my sister texted me that this beauty was sitting by their dumpster. So I grabbed it!


So we needed to remove some of the shelves so that everything we wanted to do would work. 


Then we needed a back piece since this one didn't have one. We ended up using a spare piece of paneling that we had in our garage.
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Then we began the painting process. This was difficult, but necessary. We used an oil-based primer paint. We knew we wanted it to be white, so it was perfect. We ended up doing 4 coats of paint. I think this next picture was after the second coat. 


I thought this was a silly picture. I wrote my list on piece of sheetrock we had laying around because I couldn't find a piece of paper. I took the picture of the sheet rock to the store with me. 

Then there is this handsome man. :) 

 Then I started on the details. I found this four pack of round discs at Michael's. I am pretty sure that I paid $1.59 for the pack. Sweet! I painted them with two coats of black, then made the swirls with silver paint.

 This is the beginning of the oven door-- we used one of the shelves that we took out in the beginning for the oven door. We cut it to fit, and put hinges on it. I painted it silver first, then put the black square in the middle. I added the handle (just a drawer handle) later.

Oh, the oven knobs are just these wooden round things that have a hole in the middle. My husband found them in the wood section of Michael's for .20 a piece!

Still working on the oven door. 

Here is the oven door, microwave door, and extra cabinet installed. Again, the wood was from the shelves that we removed. 


I taped off the line for the inside of the oven and painted it black.



It was around now that I decided I wanted a contrast on the stove area, so I taped a line and painted the stove part a light gray. It was just enough contrast to give it a nice, obvious, separation.


Here's Handy Daniel drilling the holes for the hooks that will go above her stove. 
Painted the hook holder and the swirls on the discs. 


I painted "Hi----- Lo" on the knobs, and we attached them with screws. We didn't screw them tight, that way she can turn them. 

It's coming together! 
This was about the point where I got excited-- this was a lot of work, and we had some issues along the way, but seeing it come together was exciting. 


This was a detail I hadn't seen on anyone else's pictures. I wanted a number pad for her microwave, so to make it a little more interactive, I bought a $1 calculator with big buttons from the Dollar Tree, and fashioned this number pad out of the calculator and cardboard. I even used the digital number cling that was on the calculator (the one that shows you what the numbers will look like when it is turned on), to make a "time".


This is when it was nearly finished. 
Then I needed fabric for the window curtains. I found this in the reg tag clearance at JoAnn's-- I got about a half of a yard and just hand sewed a loop in the top. We slid a dowel through it and put the dowel onto two hooks that we had left from the utensil holder hooks. 



This probably should have been included earlier, but this is the hole that Daniel cut for the sink. The sink is just a metal mixing bowl that we had. Just remember to cut the hole SMALLER than the edge of the bowl! 


The other cool thing that we did that I hadn't seen on anyone else's, was that Daniel installed a light-- a working light! We used a mason jar, and the sides of a lamp. I don't know the logistics of how he hooked this up, but he did, and it is Norah's favorite part. We put the light way up high, and used a 35watt bulb. 

One of the last things that we did was add the refrigerator door. The reason why this was one of the last things was because we needed a good piece of wood for it. My dad does a lot of wood working, and we were going to visit him. He said that he'd give us a piece of wood that he had, so we had to wait a week to get it. 
Here's a piece of genius that I came up with: The handle is just a shower bar that I got at Habitat for Humanity Home Store for $1.  Love it! 






 Here are the finished pictures. In no particular order. I love the way it turned out!







This phone was $1 at the Habitat Home Store as well, and it is her 2nd favorite part-- she calls everyone.
 Oh, the faucet was $3 from the Habitat Home Store.






THIS-- this made everything worth it. She LOVED it, and 7 months later, she still plays with it every day.