Benches, Part 2

Procrastination for the win!

Because I was lazy, the hairpin legs I wanted were $20 less per four-pack ($49.99 vs. $69.99) on Amazon.

I bought them and we bought screws at OSH, and now, ta-da!

  
Benches, complete with green hungry hippo.

I still need to put vanish on them, but at least we have alternate seating for the next chair break. I have varnish in the garage, so I just need to dig it out. I also need to figure out some solution to protect our wood floors. Considering wrapping the bottom of the legs with yarn.

The grand total is (rounded up) $115 for two benches. 

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Starting 2017 With a Project

I haven’t set my goals for this year. But I made a thing already. Priorities, people.

I saw the pattern for a reversible fleece hat on Pinterest. T has outgrown his winter hats and I have some fleece in my stash.

I followed the tutorial exactly except I used pinking shears to remove the bulk on the inside. Also makes it better on the curves.

  
Finished! And it’s not even 10 a.m.

  

Project 7: Toddler sleepsack

(I’m still catching up on posts from 2014.)

Ohio is a cold place in the winter. Even colder is my parents’ house because my mother refuses to up the thermostat at all. It’s 68 degrees in the winter and not a degree more.

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When visiting for Christmas, that was a challenge I was thinking about before we left. Thomas is a roller, so a blanket wouldn’t keep him warm. But he needs the use of his legs (or TANTRUM), so a normal sleepsack wouldn’t work either. I found toddler ones with feet and ordered them, but the ones in his size were swimming on him. He’s tall, but skinny and they even were longer than I felt comfortable with.

So, I decided to make my own. I bought a remnant at Joann’s (75 percent off, which made it roughly $2), and a $2 zipper. I used an old T-shirt to make the leg hole casings. I added a flap on the inside to protect him from the zipper, and a flap on the outside to go over the zipper pull so it wouldn’t rub him.

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He looks like he doesn’t like it in this picture, but he actually REALLY does. He hasn’t worn it since we were in Ohio, and tries to grab it out of his closet every night.

I sort of used this blog’s tutorial as a guide, but made a lot of my own stuff up as I went along. For instance, I drew my own pattern (tailored to fit Thomas and not be super loose), I did my zipper a different way (using this technique, which I always find easier, but was a bit of a challenge getting straight lines with fleece — you can see this in the top picture), and added the front flap with snap.

Worked perfectly too for being cozy. He wore it every night we were in Ohio.

 

Project 4: Birthday favors

So, there’s a trend at Thomas’ daycare of celebrating 1st birthdays. It started when one of T’s little friends turned 1 in the spring. The mom brought baby food pouches, which I thought was excellent. It’s ballooned from there. The thing with the food is, not all the babies are on solids. And other moms have given toys and candy — inappropriate for all ages.

So, I set out to come up with something that would appeal to all. And I came across some Waldorf toys that were good for teethers and toddlers. (Thomas’ room is 6 weeks to 2 years.) I treated the wooden rings (similar) with food-grade conditioner to seal. Because T’s birthday is July 4, added red, white and blue ribbons. And I included a stick-on mustache from the 99 cent store — because nothing is funnier to me than babies wearing mustaches. I used blue paper sacks and fastened them with brads (similar) I had from scrapbooking.

I was pleased with the results. I have heard nothing from any of the other parents. However, the teachers don’t always say whose birthday it was, so I’m not disappointed!

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Project 3: A box shirt

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I’ve been having an issue: Finding shirts isn’t easy right now.

I have a muffin top. I know it. I’m sure it won’t always be the case, but there it is. I don’t want to buy a million new clothes when most of the stuff I already own is only a smidge tight. And all the shirts out there are clingy or sporting a crop look from the ’90s — and neither is flattering for me right now. I don’t really know who those looks are flattering for.

So during nap time, I decided to use a shirt I own as a template and make an easy box shirt that would be loose enough to disguise that muffin top and long enough to be good coverage. I used fabric from my stash that I bought to make a shirt — a more complicated shirt — before I was pregnant.

The shirt turned out a little boxier than I hoped. (I’ve already made a second one and tapered it in very slightly for a more flattering fit.) All in all, though, I like it. I made a pattern so I can make more, but I’m still making slight adjustments with each rendition. AND, I realized after I made the second one — How many of these shirts is too many?

 

**Once I perfect my process, I’ll post a tutorial, explaining all the adjustments I’ve made and why.

Project 2: Sleeping like a (trained) baby

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That’s my baby. Sleeping. In his crib.

We started sleep training on May 2 (it was a Friday, for those of you reading this far in the future). We opted for a Friday because if it was really rough, at least we wouldn’t be going to work like zombies the next day.

This last week has been the biggest emotional rollercoaster of my life. Ever. No lie. No exaggeration.

We followed the Sleepeasy program, recommended to me by a coworker. After unsuccessfully trying to get Josh on board with a gentle, “no-cry” method, this seemed to be the most gentle crying method. Basically, you do check-ins on your baby so he knows he’s not alone. Except — you don’t do check-ins if your baby has 30 second or longer spurts of not crying because then you might just be winding them up.

This is a mindfuck. When do I know that my baby needs my support or I should just leave him alone to figure it out on his own? It feels cruel to just let him figure it out. Thomas’ issue, too, wasn’t that he couldn’t put himself to sleep or soothe himself. He can do all that. He just wants to be cuddled while he does.

Regardless, the worst of it is over now. T’s barely crying at all, and it seems to be more about manipulation (“Hold me more, Momma!”) than about actually being upset.

I even did the elliptical for 15 minutes the other night. I only stopped because it needs some WD-40 and I think the noise was disturbing Thomas. Yesterday I cleaned for 15 minutes. Josh and I eat dinner together, talking about our days.

There are a lot of really pleasant things about having a baby that’s thisclose to being sleep trained. But I miss all the cuddles.

2014 Project 1: Sensory bags for babies

We noticed last week that Thomas has “sensory play” at daycare. When you clicked on the item in the app daycare uses, it described it as “paint in a bag.”

Josh and I have been talking about doing more of this type of stuff with T now that he’s getting older. So, I ordered some paint and looked around on the Internet for some other sensory play ideas.

I came across these sensory bags.

I went to the 99 Cent Only store and bought 120 oz. of hair gel (six 20 oz. bottles in clear and blue), but couldn’t find any innars. At Target, I found some squishy frogs and lizards at the One Spot, and some bouncy balls and squishy bugs in the party favor section.

For each bag, I used a freezer gallon bag and filled it with 40 oz. of hair gel. Then, I added the toys, pressed out the air and sealed it up. Then I used duct tape on all the edges to reinforce them — hoping they won’t burst!

They were pretty directly a big hit with Thomas:

 

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