I can’t believe she’s seven weeks old already.
This is the latest addition to our casa:
It’s a little coffee station on an unused nook.
Our house has a funny little area off the kitchen that used to be an entrance/mud room. After whoever enclosed the porch to make our sunroom, it became an awkward nothing space. We added a second pantry/closet by adding a wall and moving the folding door that separated the living room from the kitchen to that closet.
And this week, we (really the handy husband) added two shelves and a table to make this coffee spot. He first had to add the electrical outlet, taking power from the kitchen behind.
We still need paint touch-ups, but this station will see daily use in this house.
Are you doing Bountiful Baskets? I love it. It’s inexpensive and I get a bunch of fruits and veggies to work with for the week, forcing me to get creative with using them, as well as using new things occasionally.
I had about 15 little apples left over this time, with a new basket pickup this afternoon, so I needed to use them up. These Fried Apple Cakes were a good Saturday morning pancake alternative that felt a little healthy, even. With a dollop of Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, we got our protein in.
As I was cooking them, the 3-year-old popped up on his stool beside me and said, “I don’t like apple pancakes. I like regular pancakes. See? Those are dead.” But then he ate three, dead pancakes or no.
My parents were here for two weeks over Christmas.
It was a great time of hanging out together, eating, reading and watching my mom and dad play with the 3-year-old. And the timing ended up being perfect: mechanical difficulties caused them to be stranded in Salt Lake for a night on the way here, so the airline re-booked their return flight for free, and they were able to be here two extra days.
They were here for a week, we celebrated Christmas and all that fanfare, and then the baby came Dec. 29, giving them exactly one more week to dote on her (and for my mom to stock my freezer with meals!)
The day after they left, we were hit with a snowstorm, and school was canceled the following Monday and Tuesday. But that Sunday afternoon was full of fun. I left the newborn napping inside before venturing out to snap a few shots of this cute father and son duo.
Whoever lived in our house before us left the most random things: four black salad plates that happen to match my dishes nearly exactly, a toy vacuum, a toy golf club set, and this sled. It’s like we were meant to live here.
Back in the fall, one of my coworkers got engaged. As we chatted wedding plans and budgets during the day, I found myself offering to make all the cupcakes for her Jan. 2 wedding. My baby was due December 18; I figured I’d have a good two weeks of the newborn stage down before diving in.
Well, instead, the baby was two weeks late. She came the Sunday before the wedding. The cupcakes were to be picked up the day before, which, oh yeah, was also the day of the baby’s first doctor appointment.
I’d been faithfully baking these cupcakes for several weeks and freezing them, so that part was done.
On Wednesday, I made vanilla butter cream. Lots and lots of butter cream. And because I’m me, I totally overestimated the amount of butter I would need and now I have tons and tons of butter chilling in my basement. My mom, of course, was the one who sifted all that powdered sugar.
I made two full containers like this, plus two huge mixing bowls worth of frosting… guess what I have left over.
Some of the aftermath.
Thursday morning, we pulled out the butter cream. This is of course after spending a sleepless night with the newborn. I rushed to get dressed and showered for the doctor appointment while my three-year-old decided to have a meltdown. And then I had a meltdown. The butter cream was way too thick. My mother, superwoman that she is, rushed into the rescue by re-whipping all the butter cream and adding a little bit of cream to lighten it up.
She also managed to entertain the three-year-old at the same time. When we got back from the doctor, the butter cream was ready to go and so are the cupcakes. All three of us dove in icing, sprinkling, boxing and packaging and everything was ready to go within an hour.
Some of us spent more time licking and sampling than anything else.
And by noon on Thursday, they were picked up and whisked away to the venue, like Cinderella at her ball.
Despite all the potential disasters, I don’t think they turned out half bad.
I think the best thing about having a new baby is getting to plan and design a new room decor. Last January, we turned our attention to our upstairs guest room and my handy husband took down all the ceiling texture. Then it just seemed like the right time to paint the trim, the room and redo the closet doors. In May, we had the upstairs floors redone while we are on vacation. And at that point, we knew we’d be expecting a little one in six months, so we figured it was time to move the toddler into new digs. So he got a room upgrade with a new toddler bed and the bigger room. I moved his curtains and furniture over, and he was ready to go.
Then it was time to plunge into working on the new nursery. I decided on chartreuse green and grey as my color palette, since it fit with the colors I already have in my house, but was far from classic and/or girly.
I made the Roman shades with some fun graphic fabric (tutorial here) and updated some curtains I already had in the guest room with green ribbon. Then, in keeping my tradition of having ugly 70s era chairs in my nurseries, I found an olive green velveteen one on Craigslist for $25. I probably paid too much. But we have a swivel rocking chair that will be good for nursing and story time.
My sweet friend, Cassie, custom-made the two canvases on the wall, and my other sweet friend, Emily, whipped up the panels for the crib skirt out of fabric I already had. The hamper was a consignment store find while we were in Eureka Springs this August. The fun graphic rug is
one of the only thing I purchased new for the room, apart from fabric, paint, storage baskets and sheets. It came from Overstock.com.
The changing table was found by one of my spies. It helps to have friends who know what you need and what are you looking for. The changing table I used before was an old desk, and while it worked fine for my 5’2” height, my taller husband and friends said it was back-pain inducing to use. So Emily texted me a picture of this table on the side of the road one day while I was at work. She said, “This could work for your room. It’s got $15 on it.” I swung by on my way home from work pulled all the cash I had in my wallet and offered the guy $8. The handy husband cut new center panels out of peg board (cheap and the right width for the existing channels!), I lined them with shelf liner for easy wiping, and then with a few coats of spray paint and some screw tightening, we had a like-new changing table with lots of storage room.
The changing table plus the addition of this shelf I already had made me decide not to add a dresser to the room. It’s pretty small (maybe 15×15 ft?), and with the window layout, there isn’t much wall space. My parents hauled that shelf up from Ecuador, where they made lots of wicker goods, when they moved in 2000. It was a bookshelf and a plant stand at their house in California, before I commandeered it for my apartment in Rancho Cucamonga. It’s been white, black, turquoise and now green.
We also refinished and added new hardware to closet while I was painting everything in here. We replaced the ceiling fan as well, since it squeaked uncontrollably after many fixes. We added these vintage handles my mom and sister and I found at a garage sale in Idaho two summers ago. I used all the knobs except four on a dresser update in our room, and these leftovers worked perfectly in here, and even match the glass doorknobs found throughout the rest of the house.
The handy husband polished the brass hardware on the door knobs, too. So the toddler’s room and the baby’s room have had every surface refinished like this, while our room, the room I did first, still needs the closet and the doors refinished along with the hardware. There’s also a broken vintage house intercom system speaker in our room that I need to rip out and patch. I did that in the toddlers room but didn’t do as thorough of a job when we were trying to get settled into our room.
Cassie also found this cool paper dragonfly piece from one of those global handicraft places. I’ve got it taking the place of a mobile over the changing table, so baby can watch while getting her diapers changed.
While in Jerusalem this summer, I found these cool glass globes in the Old City and decided I could make a reflective mobile with some. I added ribbon and tiny round mirrors with clear fishing line, and I really like how it turned out.
The mirrors and glass cast fun little shadows and reflections around the room in the sun light.
The toddler boy has a wooden fish mobile that we bought in Costa Rica while I was four months pregnant with him, so it’s neat that she has a mobile also purchased on one of our travels with her in mind.
So there you have it. The blog post my dad will complain about for month, because there are no kid pictures and he’s not interested in room design or budget decorating. But mostly because this will probably stay up for a few weeks while I get settled with a newborn. Because, I’m already 10 days past my due date, and I’m pretty sure this kid is never coming. But induction is set for Monday, so she’d better decide to come out on her own or get evicted.
What’s holding her back, any way? She’s got this sweet room all ready and waiting for her, stocked with enough clothes to keep any fashionista happy.