Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A new table

August has this bad habit of if he doesn't like something he declares "no like it" as he dumps/pushes/throws/flings/etc said item onto the table. He won't allow it on the edge of his plate, or on his highchair tray, oh no, it has to be all the way out of his area on the table. This has resulted in a nearly constantly dirty tablecloth. And since our table has been a "temporary" (which has turned into 4 years) folding plastic table we used at our wedding, it always has to be covered with a tablecloth or it is revealed to be an ugly utility table.
It doesn't look so bad with a tablecloth.
But I was sick of the stains and weekly washings.
So that spurred a looking online during black Friday. Looked at World Market, Overstock, Ikea, and CraigsList. We still have a pretty narrow spot so it could be the same length but only a bit wider. And there wasn't much out there. Or if there was, it was like $400 for something I didn't 'love' and was cheap construction. So I drew up a plan and asked Dad if he had any free time. And luckily he made some time for the older of his 2 craft loving daughters :)
Picking up the supplies. Already turned table legs for the win!
I think I made 3 (2-4 hour) trips up to Dad's shop and we glued the 3 main boards together for the top, figured out where the legs would go, sanded and routed the top edge, made the table skirt support thing (which also meant a trip to Home Depot to get a better top board and wider boards for the support since I wasn't following a plan and just had bought a 3" where a 4" would've been better). The things you learn when your dad is a woodworker and you are not.
We joined the legs to the support sides with wood glue and dowels, and Dad did a couple things himself like drill the holes for counterscrewing the top to the support skirt and the final attaching of the two.
Then he delivered it to me for staining.
No matter my test samples, whenever I stain it seems to always end up a totally different color! My pick was in the bottom top corner.
It was way to cold to stain in the garage, and we have no basement, so our house smelled like a chemical factory for a couple days as I had to stain in the entryway.
The legs got super dark because they have all that rough edge from the lathe.
Fan on and windows cracked in wintertime.
I used wood conditioner first because the wood is pine and to prevent splotching.
And wouldn't you know, it splotched anyway and did this weird ugly thing on the edges. So I sanded them down again, wood conditionered again, and stained those areas again. And had a bit of a panic because as I was wiping the stain off the edges it looked so obvious that it was a patch job, so I had to re-stain the entire top part again quickly so it would all be wet at the same time and luckily, that worked! It did make the table darker than I had planned, but I was much happier with the splotching issue.
Splotches were a lot better.
Next came 2 coats of polyurethane to the bottom, and 3 thin coats to the top. Another stressful job making sure there weren't drips or brush marks.
And finally I could set it back up, it helped that I was hosting bookclub the next day, so I was motivated to get done!
I love the coloring!
But a new problem was revealed, our (from mom & dad's church) chairs looked ridiculously short next to the new table!
So the morning of book club, Doug my hero looked on CraigsList for new chairs for me. Then on his lunch break drove over to pick them up, crammed 6 chairs in his Jeep, brought them in, and then helped prep dinner for my girlfriends while I scrubbed away like a mad woman cleaning them. They had come from a Sign of the Beefcarver restaurant that was closing and are really solid wood chairs (Amish made according to the ad) for only $15 each, but have some dings, a few had a couple gouges, and had crusted food and BBQ sauce and who knows what on them.
Yay! It looks so nice. And after trying and returning a whole slew of table runner and other centerpiece options I think I finally settled on this simple one:
So the cost breakdown: wood, stain, wood conditioner, poly, and brushes for table: $175; 6 new wood chairs: $90; jute placemat, white plate, and candlesticks: $25; hours of Dad's time: priceless. Total was less than $300 for the whole things and I love it. It's just 3 inches wider, but it seemed to make a difference and felt a little more spacious around the table.
It's still pine, which is a softer wood, so it probably won't be scratch free forever. On August's side he has a new plastic place mat to help prevent marks when he bangs his fork, cup, etc, but I am hopeful it will last at least another 4 years :)

Monday, December 3, 2018

A quilt for baby girl

I'd been wanting to make something special for my new baby. I saw this quilt on a girl's instagram and fell in love with these large faded floral patterns.
However, I was reminded that one is limited by the selection of their fabric store. Jo Ann Fabrics did not have a single thing that looked old and faded, and didn't have much by way of large floral prints either. But I did really like this pink and yellow floral pattern, and then picked some other fabrics in corresponding colors.
Step one, washing the fabrics and the dreaded ironing.
Then cutting the squares and sewing them together. This goes pretty quickly when just doing squares.
I don't know why I laid this out and thought it was ok. I ended up having to rip out a bunch of my seams so I could switch the order around to a pattern I liked better.
Sewed on the soft pink velvety fabric for the border.
I used an old soft creamy yellow sheet for my back fabric and sandwiched in the quilting material. Then held down the edges so I could pin and do my machine quilting to sew all 3 layers together. Professional quilters have this awesome table for this purpose, but people like me use the floor!
Sewing all the lines.
The last step was folding over the velvet part over the back and hand sewing to avoid a visible stitch. This part was a pain and literally painful to the fingers to poke through all the layers. It took several episodes of watching something and stitching all 4 sides. I'm actually not super happy with how it ended up looking kind of pulled there on the sides, but I'm not sure how I could've done it any better.
Here it is all finished.
The back.
Part of me still likes the other girl's more, but I like that mine is handmade by me and I'm sure it will be fine. It is soft and pretty. I really do love that floral print so much I had my mom buy a yard and she is going to make me a new carseat cover out of the same material. So that's nice of her, she had made one for August and I didn't think she'd mind being asked to make a second. 4 more months!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Speaking of 2...

It's about time this new little one got a proper introduction!
I am 18 weeks today and expecting this little one in April 2019.
Doug and I had wanted another child, I was actually hoping to get pregnant around August's first birthday. However, I didn't even get my period back until he was almost 16 months. About 4 months into trying we had a 'chemical pregnancy' which is where you get a positive pregnancy test and go around for a few days excitedly thinking you're pregnant- only to get your period and be crushed. That was pretty sad. I had a bit of a clue something was wrong when the pregnancy strips weren't getting darker, but you still hope. A couple months later I was looking at this pregnancy app on my phone and thinking I could take a test in a day or so when I realized that my cycles were around 27-28 days and I was already on day 28 so I just took one, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Daddy came home and was greeted by August in this cute little announcement shirt. (ok I totally did not realize when Toys 'R Us went out of business it was taking Babies 'R Us with it!! Noooo! Babies 'R Us was the best, and now all I'm left with is super rip off Buy Buy Baby, bummer)
I tried to keep it pretty quiet in the beginning in case little one wouldn't stick around. It wasn't so easy later because right at 6 weeks I started getting sick. In fact I was at book club and hadn't planned on telling my girlfriends quite yet, but had to because I was sitting there with a throw up bucket on my lap. They were all excited.
Yeah so this time around I felt pretty bad. I'd only had one day of nausea with August and I remember just sitting perfectly still on the couch. With this one I almost always had a before or after breakfast puke and often another 2-3 during the day. And it's not fun being sick when you have a busy little one. I remember August one day screaming "milk!!!" and banging his empty cup while 1 foot away I was puking into my bucket. Mom even came down a day and played with him while I laid on the couch all day intermittently puking. THANKFULLY that petered out right at 12 weeks. And also thankfully I never got sick at work, always at home! I don't know why that was. Maybe too busy? I often did get a 7-Up though from the fridge and started drinking that as soon as I was feeling off, so that maybe helped too. But I do feel like poor August had a lame summer as his mother was mostly laying on the couch all of it :(
Like last time we had the genetic study done since I am older and wanted to be prepared if baby was going to have any special needs. I handled it really hard this time. I was just a bundle of nerves. I was sitting on the couch one day and the phone rang with the results. Her voice sounded like someone with bad news. But she told me the baby was fine. I mentioned the bad news voice to her and she just said she was tired (keep it together lady - people are depending on you for their news!!!). As soon as I hung up I just burst into sobbing tears. I called Doug. And I was telling him the baby was fine, but since I was crying so much he thought I was saying something was wrong with it's spine. Eventually he had me spell out f-i-n-e and then was wondering why I was crying. And I just felt such guilt. I had been hoping and praying and worrying that the baby would be ok, and I think that was coming from a place of not wanting a child who wouldn't be 'normal' and I just felt such horrible guilt. And the grace of a good and perfect gift from God when I don't deserve anything good, and also the knowledge that there is nothing wrong with what God makes. Every baby is fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. So it was just a very overwhelming feeling. We talked for a little while, and I cried, and journaled and prayed for awhile, but this has been a hard thing for me.
One perk of the genetic test is getting to know the gender early. So we had the lady leave the gender on a voicemail and then went to Meijer and picked out two outfits. Then we had the cashier listen to the voicemail and ring up the corresponding outfit while we turned around. Then we went out to dinner and opened it together.
and ta-da!!
Honestly I wasn't too surprised since I'd been feeling so different, but it was still a fun surprise.
So yeah, the story of the second child is indeed true, time is just passing by. But I do look at my little pregnancy app and I see that today she is the size of a sweet potato, and I like reading about her development :) I've bought a couple girl things and her baby book.
I'm feeling mostly better, a little short of breath already at times. I'm fighting the maternity pants, last time I didn't need them till 20 weeks, but at the end of the day I either have my button undone or I'm in sweats anyway, so might as well embrace the stretchy panel!! With all the puking I lost 8 pounds in the first trimester, and almost back to my starting weight now. But you can definitely see a bump from the side, and the end of the day bump is like twice the size of the beginning of the day bump for some reason!
We don't agree on girls names, but still have 4 months to go. And we are planning on having the kids share a room (after she's been in our room for several months during the worst of the night wake ups/nursing months) (NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO THOSE). So that will be nice to keep a room free for our use, but is also a source of stress thinking about the kids sharing a closet/dresser/hoping they don't wake each other up. August is sleeping through the night so awesome and I'm scared to ruin it.
So yeah, besides not looking forward to losing sleep, and being super scared of taking two kids out in public, and of course the general terror of the transition from 1 to 2, I am excited. I can't imagine loving this one as much as I love August. And this is from a person that always wanted a girl! I just love my boy so much and I've had 2 years of loving him already! But everyone says you love them all, so we'll see. I'm sure I'll be surprised.
I feel very blessed indeed.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Happy Halloween

Last night we took out August for his first time trick-or-treating!
He didn't say it, but he was happy to grab the candy out of people's hands, or bowl, and stuff it into his pumpkin. And he always said 'thank you' :)
I don't think he really even knows what he was grabbing. His pumpkin has sat all day on the chair here and he hasn't once reached for it or tried to open any of the candy. Meanwhile... mom and dad have been eating some!
The look of determination as he walked to the house
He was the cutest little Ewok in town.
Doug wanted to spring for the Disney brand costume and I'm actually glad we did, it looked so good, seriously the fur was like realistically rippling in the breeze as he walked. Next year though we'll probably just get something from the Salvation Army!
The trick-or-treating in our neighborhood is from 6-8 so the first hour we went out with him, and the second hour we planned to pass out candy, but then we only got 2 visitors! So not only do we have his candy, but also most of the bowl that we bought to hand out! Haha. But it was nice to walk through our neighborhood and even introduce ourselves to some of our neighbors, we have such kind people in our area.