Tuesday, January 21, 2014

You a Wild Thang

Yay for more jumping around in projects! We are quickly trying to wrap up baby stuff around here and zoom in on the more important projects.

But...I had a moment where this big hunk of wall was really really bothering me.

Remember this hunk of wall?

This is the dresser we will be using for a changing table and it is about a four foot gap between the door to the hallway and the closet. The room was still pretty bare bones and I felt like it was missing some pizzaz.

Months ago I posted this picture on IG thinking it'd be a fun idea. It is reminiscent of our giant clock, but I thought it might be a good use of space none the less.

Fast forward three months, and while we were supposed to be doing important projects, I deemed this top of the priority list.

I purchased a 4 foot square piece of underlayment and drew a piece out the silhouette of a Wild Thing- and it was times like this I am super grateful I have a little artistic talent.

I must admit, I did have a little help figuring out how to get scruff to fall from a face...

Step 1: Seamus

And that, my friends is the step by step DIY tutorial on how to draw a scruff.

Then I had Nate take it down to his work station in the basement (still not allowed down in the basement due to the slippery stairs) and he cut it out on the jigsaw, then came upstairs to sand down the edges.

We held it up for size (and I was suddenly way more impressed with Nate's sweet jigsawing skills)

We decided to paint it with some leftover paint in "Pencil" by Martha Stewart- we have used this in several places around the house so it made the room feel a little bit more integrated incorporating it in the nursery.

Bonus- it was in the fabric that I used when I sewed a cover for our changing pad.

As for the installation- we decided it was safest to just screw it directly into the wall that way there is no way for it to ever fall down. We installed four screws and then just painted over them.

I'm really happy with how it turned out- it adds another level of sass to the room.

It is amazing what you can do with a little plywood and a jigsaw! This huge statement only cost about $8!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Nursing Nook



So a lot has been happening in the playroom since Nate took the death chest out. But, some of that is really boring stuff that it's like, oh, yay, you primed. I am not going to bore you with stringing all that out.

After Nate took the chest out, we primed and painted the room basic, out of the can white.

Then Nate took a look around and said, "does this look a little 'Producers' to you?"

And yeah, yeah it did. And no, Ula did not just "tidy oop"

So we decided we needed a splash of color.

To decide on what color, I went to my fabric. I always view a room as a quilt. When you're piecing a quilt, you always need one fabric that makes the rest of the fabrics make sense. We had already settled on the green wild thing fabric for the front half of the room, but my friend Carolyn had made this adorable little quilt using the blue wild thing fabric (not to mention I bought like 4 yards of it in a panic) so I wanted to incorporate more of that blue fabric. Then, I chose the wild thing piecing fabric- which has all the colors in it (the middle). See how now the other two speak to each other? No? It's hard to explain.

So after knowing that I could use the blue fabric, I pulled the darker blue out of it, which turned out to be very similar to Ocean View by Behr.

The trick? I painted it on the wall that you can't see from the nursery. This meant that I could now incorporate these other fabrics and add some color without it messing with the green/orange thing we've got going on in the front of the room.

With just that one wall blue, the room started to look more child like, which, hey, is the point of the playroom, right? So even though Nate's half of the room still looks like a bomb went off, I felt like I needed to make part of the room look like I've done it on purpose.

So after installing new outlets, lights, switches and covers (which we'll discuss later, because I wanted to post about something pretty) I had Nate put my vintage recliner in place. I've mentioned it on instagram a bunch of times, but I don't remember if I ever posted about it here.

After spending some time in the Bentwood rocker, I decided that with that on the hardwood there was a big chance of it slipping out from under you trying to get in and out of it, so we sold it for almost double what we paid for it, and scored this awesome vintage recliner from an estate sale (the man holding the estate sale's name was Thor, which has gotta say something about how great that day was, right?)

The chair is a La-Z-Boy rocker/recliner from the 70s in burnt pumpkin and, score, was covered in plastic, so while it was stuffy smelling, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Oh, and it's comfy as hell.

Did I mention we paid $50 for it?

Chicka, Chicka yeahhhh.

I also made myself a little head pillow using my three seam, envelope technique, and put Carolyn's quilt up over the chair for easy snuggling. My boppy will be covered in the fabric that has all the colors in it.

After we had the chair, we set out to find a little table. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it because why spend $100 on a table to put next to my $50 recliner? That seemed kind of silly.

Enter an e-mail from Habitat for Humanity saying "up to 75% off at the ReStore!" and BOOM. $5 side table.

For now, I put an awesome vintage lamp that I got at my baby shower (my friends and family know me so well, right?) an apothecary full of binkies/teethers, and a little toy from my niece. Since the table is two tiered, I stacked some of our board books on the bottom shelf.

I also want to get a basket to put under the table to put bottles of water, my breast pump and supplies and burp cloths.

I'm aware that there is still painters tape around, and touch ups that need to be done, and silly things like...the paint needs to be scraped off the floor since Nate's a messy painter...but doing just a little nesting made me feel so much better.

It also happens to be Teagan approved, which is also a good thing, right?

Now we just have to de-construction zone the rest of her room... At least I have somewhere comfy to sit and supervise from... :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

And then he took a crowbar to my playroom...

Way back when, before we got pregnant, Nate and I were going to turn the second bump of the nursery into a playroom/kids oasis for our nieces and nephews. We had planned awesome shelving and lots of little stations around the room.

Then we got pregnant and I began to casually mention to him about a thousand times that if he was going to do anything about the death bench that was in there, he needed to do it sooner rather than later. (Okay, maybe there was slight nagging involved)

Did Nate listen? No. Because he is Nate is does things when the mood strikes him. Well, with seven weeks to my due date (5 now), I was sitting in the recliner in the nursery with Brenna while we tried to get everything cleaned out. I had pretty much resigned that nothing was going to happen in that room before Wookie got here and I was just going to paint it so it was slightly more tolerable to be in there.

When Nate overheard that I was planning on painting, he came in and said, "well why are you going to paint it if we're going to rip it out?"

and I looked at him and said, "because you've been saying for over a year that you were going to take it out and you never did."

And then I ate my words and said goodbye to this...

Now, before you all ask me why I got rid of a toy box in a playroom, I'll tell you why. THE THING WAS A DEATH TRAP.

The lid was about a thousand pounds, it didn't have any kin of safety mechanism to it, and it was super, super deep. Which in my mind just meant that instead of any kids being able to get anything out of the toybox, there would be a lot of asking adults to get things out of the toybox for fear of them opening it, it slamming on top of them, and us having a headless/fingerless children running amok around our house.

Aint nobody got time to be that helpful.

Next thing I know, Nate appears, hands me my "pregnant supervisor gear", aka this...

And before I could ask him if we had any contingency plans (what if there is duct work, electric or bad flooring underneath it...you know, logical questions) he just started taking the damn thing apart.

Fast forward me panicking and asking him repeatedly if he could really get all of this put back together before the baby gets here and him telling me to sit quietly in the corner and behave myself, the whole thing was wayyy overly built, and horribly finished. Like, Nate had to take a freaking sawzall to the damn thing to get it detached from itself, but the beadboard covering the outside wasn't evenly cut.



Then Nate starts going OH. GET OUT. GET OUT. GET OUT. GET OUT.

I'm thinking, dead rat? depression era gold? what's going on.

Nope. Nothing that cool, just the fact that there was NO WALL BEHIND THE TOYBOX so good ol' fiberglass insulation started spilling into the room- which, lucky me, I'm horribly allergic to.

Even though we had closed the room off prior to starting the demo and we had the windows open, within thirty seconds of me waddling as fast as I could out of that room I started to feel my throat close up and my skin start burning.

Good times, really.

And then really interesting things happened all of which I heard about with an assortment of colorful language as Nate discovered them.

Remember how I said, what if there was ductwork or electricity?

No, didn't have that problem.

What if there was different floors?

Not only was there different floors. Oh no, there was NO floor. Nothing. Not even subfloor. Just a nice view into my kitchen ceiling.

Old houses, gotta love them right?

Nate said he would type something up for me about how he fixed said problem with no joists or anything to work with, as well as how he only used wood from the toybox, though he hasn't done that yet, so in the beauty of my eyes, and the internet, the room went from half a toy box to this.

It's fun being out of the room. Even though I was terrified of him breaking the room I just worked on, I got to miss the clean up of this...

So, that's a total perk, right?

We've actually made a lot of progress on this room, which I'll start filling everyone in on, but if you're dying to see real time right now, head over to our Instagram (@ourbrokeasshome). I am for sure posting several pictures a day of what we're working on, so even though I kind of suck at blogging right now, I promise I haven't completely dropped off the face of the earth!

What has everybody been working on?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Life Goals (A Look Inside my Panicing Pregnant Mind)

I tend to think that New Year’s Resolutions are a load of shit. Most of the time people use way too many broad and sweeping statements, like “I’m going to work out this year!” and then come the end of the year, they are like, “I totally went to the gym like three times. SUCCESS.”

I also tend to hate reading blogs between Thanksgiving and the second week of January since it goes from holiday decorating, to gift ideas, to blog round ups, to goals.

That being said, I feel like goals are needed. I asked Nate last night if he had any goals for 2014 that he wanted my help with, and he responded with, “Let’s just focus on not killing the baby”

But, when I looked at how overwhelming this year is going to be, I thought, “Emma. Girl, you seriously need to make some statements about your life now.”

So, here I am making some statements about my life. With plans attached. No broad sweeping statements- because I don’t want to sweep anything under the rug this year. This year is for serial. I know these are kind of self absorbed…but I’m trying to tell myself now that it is okay to have these plans for myself because I know that I could just as easily turn into sweat pant mom who amazingly sacrifices everything for her kid and honestly, I’m not ready for that.

1.       Lose 15lbs by March 1.

Yes, I know this is a bullshit goal, but by delivering Wookie I will slowly begin getting my lady groove back- I have not really felt like myself the entire time I’ve been pregnant. I’m still not the heaviest I’ve ever been, but after losing 30lbs last year before getting pregnant to see all the hard work grow outward- even in the efforts of growing a human, has been hard for me to wrap my head around. It will be very nice to say, Hey, I am down 15lbs! Even if it’s just baby and water weight. Note that I’m giving her 11 extra days just to make sure this is achievable.

2.       Nail down a “mom style”

Before getting pregnant, I rocked leopard skinny jeans, lace tops and big chunky jewelry. I am aware that this is not entirely possible while breastfeeding (hopefully). I’m also aware that most new mom’s wardrobe consists of drool stained shirts and stretched out collars. I’m trying to be realistic about my expectations, but one problem I’ve been having with pregnancy is that I am too cheap to buy lots of maternity clothes (good thing too because I have stained every piece I’ve bought the first time I have worn it) so I have told myself that I have to put some effort in my appearance by my birthday in April. I’m only going to be 24- I am not ready to look like a “mom” so I need to find a look that I am comfortable in, is affordable and easy to nurse/go to work in etc.

3.       Continue my regularly scheduled hair care.

I have worked really hard on my hair. I still don’t know how to style it like some amazing girls (my mom was never into it- blow dry it straight or throw it in a ponytail). Before my PCOS treatments I was diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency that was so bad that chunks of my hair were falling out when brushing it. I’ve since been seeing my stylist every 6 weeks for the last 4 years trying to take care of my hair and I am here promising myself that I am going to continue with that. I know that it would be easier and better to put that $30 a haircut towards something else, but if I’m sitting there watching my hair fall out again I feel like my mental state will fall out with it.

4.       Go camping as a family at least once a month from June-August.

Campsites in Michigan go up for reservation on January 1, so last night Nate and I were already looking into campsites- we are aware with the baby that it’s smart to stay close to home because no one wants to be in a tent with a newborn during a thunderstorm, but we are saying now that at least one overnight a month during the summer needs to happen. Nate and I both use camping as a way to get out stress out, read a good book and enjoy the summer months- I don’t want us to get caught up in the busyness of the first year of parenthood to make us completely miss summer.

5.       Once the weather turns, go to the dog park at least twice a week (weather permitting)

Walks are going to be hard this year. 3 dogs, one baby, two adults- that means our hands are too full for long walks, but we have terriers! Those scruffybutts deserve to be as tired as they need to be. This means that at least twice a week (once the lake is thawed- I don’t want anyone falling through the ice) that Wook needs to go in the Ergo and the dogs need a few hours at the dog park to get nice and exhausted. Plus, at $12 a year for membership, it is the cheapest form of entertainment for the whole family (not to mention that our dog park equates out to a several mile hike every time we go which is healthy for everyone)

6.       Do not accept financing/loans on any purchase this year (god willing)

Now, I’m saying this on January 2 saying that God willing, no major disasters happen to our family that would require a groveling trip to the bank. But in 2013, between the roof, the car and a couple bridge loans we got into a LOT of monthly payments. In fact, those stupid monthly payments are the reason that I can’t be a stay at home mom. I’m not making a grand gesture saying here that we are going to miraculously pay off tens of thousands in debt this year because every loan we took out last year was needed and I’m going to have probably a 7k labor and delivery bill coming our way this year. Put that with the fact that I’ll be out of work without pay for maternity leave and we are in for a tight year. My only goal that makes me cry with hope is that we don’t have to take out any more debt. I can say that luckily Nate and I have zero consumer debt- we have no credit cards, no store financing, etc. so at least our rates are locked and we don’t have interest accruing that is rearing its head at us.

7.       Work on a savings account

We got into a better practice with this towards the end of the year scrambling to get some money put away for my maternity leave but I know we are going to blow through it with bills as soon as I leave work. I want us to build a better practice of this and have a nice cushion to land on so we can start tackling all those loans. It doesn’t do me any good to put all that money to those loans and then someone needs surgery or something (knock on wood) and then I have to take out another loan because we don’t have savings. Plus, Nate is going to need a new car (for some reason the car I got when I was 16 just isn’t running like it did when it rolled off the lot in 1997…) I will not put a dollar amount on this because I really do not know how detrimental my maternity leave is going to be to us, but I would like to have at least all of our deductibles for our insurance policies put up somewhere. Yeah, that is how much we suck right now… Let’s also put this under that goal I had where we “act more like grown ups” in general.

8.       Get regular oil changes in the new car

Because, again, I want to be a better grown up and not fuck up the car I just took out a loan for.

9.       Continue on my PCOS treatment path.

It took us 18 months from getting diagnosed to peeing on the stick to find out Wookie was on the way, so I have zero intention of shutting down the factory now that we know how to fix it. I am saying this now, so don’t ask me later in the year- this does not mean we are planning Irish Twins. In fact there will be quite a gap between Wookie and the next kid while Nate finishes school (we just can’t afford two in daycare- we have to be in a position where I can stay home before baby #2 gets here) but when I was on my PCOS treatment I was able to finally lose weight, my moods were more stable and, perk, I wasn’t rocking a PCOS beard from lack of hormones. I want to continue on with my treatment so I can keep my body regular and enjoyable so when we do get in a place where baby 2 can come into the picture that it doesn’t take another 18 months to get everything working again.

10.   Nurture my relationship with my amazing husband.

This is a little broader and sweeping since there are so many things I need to do for him. I have never loved him more than I do right now- he is going to be an amazing father and honestly will rock at having an infant more than me. He is hard wired for this path. I however need to step up my game since he has been so incredibly gracious to me through this pregnancy. He has been doing the work of both of us since I am in so much pain and am so tired by the time I get home from work. He has voluntarily even taken on things like laundry because he doesn’t want me losing my balance down the terrifying basement stairs. I need to spend 2014 telling him how much I appreciated the help. I plan to do this by having food in the house (grocery shopping- what a concept), dinner cooked before he has to go to school (which will also help with our budgeting problems), the house generally tidied (baby crap is forgivable, tumbleweeds aren’t), and having time for just the two of us. We have been very strict to our Friday night date nights during this pregnancy (or else I’d be asleep by 6) and while I know we won’t be able to afford a babysitter every week, even if I just force myself to stay awake and watch a movie with him one night it needs to happen. I also need to learn to accept help and allow people who ask to watch the baby to let them and take the time to be with Nate. This being said- I also need to allow Nate to have dates with the baby. Him and her need alone time just as much as him and I do- and that I’m sure, I’ll be happy to give him.

This may have been one of my more personal and sincere posts I’ve ever done on this blog, and it has given you a serious look into what is going on in our house lately- but I felt like it needed to be said. Wook will be here in about 6 weeks landing at exactly the time my seasonal blues kick in. I’ll either have the happiest winter ever, or with the season and baby blues I’ll be such a hot damn mess a list may be the only thing to pull me out of it.

I have blog and jewelry goals as well (jewelry…like make some) but hopefully I haven’t dug a hole for myself that we can’t climb out of trying to achieve these.

If you have a goal post- please feel free to leave it in the comments! I would love to see if anyone else feels like they’re captaining a sinking ship lately.

Also, I promise we’ll get to the sledgehammer chaos in the playroom once my nerves calm down enough to see what Nate did to it… *sigh*