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4/28/2012

A Real “Big-Girl” Bed!

I failed to mention during my big potty training post, that during that same time we also managed to transition Bailey to a “big-girl” (toddler) bed. I was more than thrilled by this given our last, failed attempt back in June.  We hadn’t really planned to tackle this hurdle while potty training, but long story short, the side of the crib was removed, the mesh bed rail was reinstalled, and Bailey has never once climbed out in the middle of the night!  Occasionally she’ll wake up to go to the potty, but she patiently waits for either Craig or I to get up and take her before climbing out of the bed. I’m not sure what made the difference this time, but it worked and that’s all that matters!

So, in preparation for our little guy’s arrival in less than 2months (holy moley… where have the first 2 trimesters gone?!?) we swapped out Bailey’s old, crib-turned-big-girl bed for a real, big-girl bed!

We got this twin sized bed from my parents.  It is the bed that was used by two of my sisters, which makes it that much more special for Bailey.  The headboard was in good shape, but was a little discolored after being packed away in storage for 15+ years.  Thankfully that’s nothing a little primer and paint won’t fix!

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The first step was to sand it down and rough up the finish to help the primer take a better hold.

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Then we used a tack cloth to wipe it down and remove all of the dust.

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Next, we propped the headboard up so Craig could get busy priming (while I supervised from a safe distance).

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Even with just the primer it already looked 100% better.  Once all of the primer dried Craig gave it another light sanding to smooth out a couple of minor spots and then he began to apply the coats paint.

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After the third and presumably final coat of paint was applied we went inside to let it dry.  When we went back out to check on it we were shocked to find a headboard that looked like this…

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Apparently the gentle breeze outside turned into a small gust at some point, which caused the still-drying headboard to blow over into the grass.  Talk about frustrating! 

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So, we propped it back up and left it to dry completely before cleaning the grass off and sanding yet again.  After this, we were ready to apply the final coat of paint… for the second time!  This time we were extra careful to prop it up in a way that would prevent it from tipping over if it became breezy.

Once the paint was dried we were finally ready to move everything into Bailey’s room and assemble the bed.  We had to leave about 6 inches of space between the wall and the bed to allow for the curtains to be opened.  So, we placed Bailey’s guard rail on that side to prevent her from rolling out and becoming wedged between the wall and the bed. 

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We made the bed up with a set of sheets we had lying around and threw one of Bailey’s quilts on top.  These linens probably won’t be in the room for good (not sure her future brother will approve of all of the pink), but they’ll certainly do the job while we figure out what we want long term for the room.

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And based on the look on Bailey’s face, I’d say she definitely approves of her new, real big-girl bed! 

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4/25/2012

A Surprise “Sprinkle”

I was VERY surprised last Friday when I found out that my dear friend Misty had been planning a “sprinkle” for me for over a month!  And somehow everyone involved managed to keep it a secret the entire time!  And I, as usual, was oblivious to the whole thing!

My sweet, sweet co-workers hatched a plan to get unsuspecting me to the restaurant for lunch on Friday where we were greeted by Misty and other dear friends for the surprise!

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What a wonderful surprise!  And what wonderful friends!  I have been truly blessed!

(Pictures courtesy of Spangler Photography)

4/17/2012

“Bye-Bye Paci… I Love You”

Those were the words that Bailey uttered as she tossed her beloved pacifier into the garbage can this weekend.  And as pitiful as those words sounded coming out of my daughter’s mouth, I’ve gotta admit… I was doing the dance of joy on the inside!

You see… from the very beginning Bailey has had a VERY strong love affair with her pacifier.

And I know that we are COMPLETELY to blame for the fact that she was so pacifier-dependent in the first place… but hey… when a baby’s young and screaming so loud that you can’t even think, you’ll pretty much stick anything in their mouth to make it stop!

Anyway, I digress.  The point is that after 28 long months, Bailey is no longer using a pacifier!  And here’s how it all went down.

Bailey has been napping at pre-school without her paci for a few weeks now which told us that she was certainly capable of doing it… she just didn’t want to do it.  In fact, she was the only child in her class room who still used a paci… which was a little embarrassing for us (don’t really think it bothered her too much though).  Unfortunately, we had very little success without the paci during naps and bedtime at home.  Every attempt that we made to rid her of the cursed thing was met with VERY INTENSE resistance… to which we eventually would give in (I know… our inconsistency was totally to blame!).  But when Bailey told me that her friend Aggie from school had to throw her pacifier away because it broke, I realized that this could be our answer.

I talked with Bailey several times over a 2-3 week period about Aggie’s decision to throw her paci away.  I asked her “what would you do if your paci broke?” to which she would respond “I have to put it in the trash.”  So this weekend while she was napping I patiently waited for my chance… and the instant she spat the pacifier out in her sleep I snatched it, cut the base of it with a knife, and placed it back in her hand.  At some point during her nap she popped it back into her mouth.  When she woke up she had a very puzzled look on her face and the following conversation took place:

Bailey—“It’s not working!” (as she pops the paci back into her mouth and tries sucking it again)

Me—“What’s not working?”

Bailey—“My paci… it’s broken…” (as she holds it out for me to see)

Me—“Oh my!  Do you suppose you bit it too hard with your teeth?”

Bailey—“Yeah… I broke it.”

Me—“What are you going to do?”

Bailey—“You need to go to store and get new one Mommy!”

Me—“No… I don’t think so.  What are you going to do with your paci now that it’s broken?”

Bailey—“I need to put it in the trash”

Me—“Well alright… I’m sorry to hear that.” (as I walk with her over to the garbage can)

Bailey—“Bye-bye paci… I love you!” (as she drops her paci into the garbage can and walks away)

And that was it!  No screaming, crying, or bargaining from her or us… it was done!  And Bailey doesn’t seem phased by it at all!  So, I think we can call the de-paci-fication process a tremendous success!  And while I definitely won’t miss the paci, I’ve gotta admit… I am going to miss this sweet little paci-filled face!

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4/16/2012

Change in (Floor) Plans

As mentioned before, we’ve been working on transitioning Bailey’s old nursery into a shared room for her and her soon-to-arrive brother.  Our original plan was to create a floor plan similar to this:

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Unfortunately, after the furniture was moved around we discovered that this floor plan wouldn’t work as well as we had hoped.  The main problem was that the dresser/changing table (which is a fairly frequent destination in the room) felt cramped and closed-in in the back corner.  Not to mention the fact that the book case and hamper (which we had planned to move into the closet) were greatly missed in the room.  So it was time to come up with a Plan B.

After a little bit of rearranging, our final floor plan ended up looking like this: 

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Some of the elements in the room stayed the same, but a lot of things changed.  So far the floor plan seems to work much better for us!  And Bailey couldn’t be more excited about it!

4/08/2012

Built-In Brainstorm

Once upon a time, the view from our family room into our kitchen looked a little something like this

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But, what you may not have noticed from the picture above was the old built-in desk/book case that used to be in the family room.  You can just barely see the corner of it in the picture below (For some reason I completely neglected to take a picture of the old built-ins prior to ripping them out in the big kitchen/family room renovation… obviously, I was more focused on the impending changes to the kitchen than I was on the changes that would take place in the family room)

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Completely out of view of the above picture is a large recessed area (approximately 3 ft. deep by 3.5 ft. wide) to the left of the built-in desk/book case.  The space is flanked by brick on either side and served no apparent purpose, so this is the spot where we had awkwardly placed an old TV and stand to be used in the room.

Anyway, our plan from the very beginning was to swap the “office” and “entertainment” areas.  Before the old kitchen wall came down and the new peninsula went in we were forced to rip the old, built-in desk/book case out to make way for the new walkway into the kitchen.  The slightly recessed area (approximately 1 ft. deep by 6.5 ft. wide) that we were left with was too shallow for a desk, but it would work perfectly for the new built-in book case/entertainment area we had envisioned.

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And the deeper recessed area to the left (again, I failed to take a “before” picture of it) was the perfect depth for a built-in desk similar to this inspiration picture (originally pinned from here).

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Unfortunately, with the expense of the kitchen renovation and the unexpected roof repairs we made last year, we didn’t have the money in the budget to finish our built-in plans.  This left us with a lack of storage and no designated office space in the family room.  Our so-called “temporary” solution has simply been this…

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Continue using the deeper recessed area (that we planned to convert into a new built-in desk) for our old, awkward TV and place an old, unused desk in the slightly recessed area to the right (that we planned to use for a new entertainment space).

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I know it’s pitiful, but this has been our reality… for about 9+ months now!

Thankfully, however, it doesn’t look like this will be our reality much longer!  Because sitting in our back room as I type this post are a small handful of boxes that look a little something like this…

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That’s right folks!  The cabinets required to make our built-in dreams a reality are here!  Now all we need is a free weekend or two to make the magic happen!