Sunday, August 22, 2010

The latest goings on

Well, a lot has happened in four months, and I suppose I should update those few people who actually read my blog.

For those of you who don't know I am pregnant with baby #3!  Yes, that's right, this house is about to get a whole lot crazier.  I am due January 26th from the looks of things.  This was not planned, but I suppose even when these things are planned they still throw you for a loop.  I am dealing.  Some days I think I can handle it, other days I feel less optimistic.  The kind of ironic thing about this pregnancy is that this baby is in almost the exact situation I was;  3rd child, not planned, due the 26th(a month after my birth day).  It seems somewhat serendipitous I suppose, for me to deal with my own personal feelings of self approval as I deal with the idea of accepting this baby as a member of our family.

Well, enough of that self healing talk...

We are well under way of finishing our latest construction project.  For the last few weeks we have been working on a playhouse for the kids.(No, we aren't stupid, its not hard, we just like to take our time.  You'd be amazed at how hard it is to accomplish tasks when you have kids.)  With any luck, we should be finished with the playhouse part in a week.  Then we can start working on the swing attachment.  One thing at a time.  If any one wants to build one of their own, its easy, and so far we've found, about the same cost as buying one.  The only difference is the ones you buy usually don't have complete playhouses, unless you want to spend $2000 more than the average Joe, and this one is a little bigger and has sturdier wood.  Totally worth it, and fun to build!  We got the plans from Knock-Off Wood.  We used her plans for Vaeh's bed, and will probably use more in the future.

 The playhouse so far, with Vaeh and her cousin Ammon climbing in the window

As for the kids they are great!  They love playing together(for the most part) which is great.  Its nice to have some time to yourself while your kids are otherwise occupied entertaining each other.  Vaeh just turned 4 and we had a great party for her.  Lately, she has been doing things that normally would terrify her.  The night of her birthday she took her first ride on a carousel and loved it!  Normally she would have screamed to get off, but she actually rode it twice!  She has also decided that after hating swimming for the last 4 years of her life she would try something new!  She is a regular fish.  She can swim all by herself(with arm floaties anyways)  which I think is pretty impressive for not doing it ever before.  But that's the way she's always been.  She wont do something unless she is 200% sure she wont fail.  She did the same with walking, riding a bike, and now swimming.  Its nice to know I can trust her to take the lead in her own life.

 Vaeh on the carousel
 The kids loving each other

As for Jobie he is just a doll.  He is the sweetest little boy.  I have been waiting for the "terrible twos" to hit us for a while.(Vaeh's hit around 18 months)  He will throw a fit maybe once a month!  All he wants to do is snuggle while pulling my hair, and play with Vaeh.  He likes to do most things himself, but I think that's most kids his age.  He can do a lot himself too.  He brushes his own teeth, climbs into his car seat, feeds himself(he's been doing that one for so long I can't remember feeding him last), and so much more.  Whatever his sister does he wants to try too.  He has a very large vocabulary and is pretty much speaking in cute little toddler sentences.  I LOVE it.  I wish I would have known when Vaeh was this young how much fun that age is.  I loved Vaeh at that age too, but I didn't know it was going to get harder, so I thing I took it for granted.
 I caught him reading a book to himself in his crib, priceless!

I guess that it for us for now...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Reupholstering a Toddler Couch

So, we still haven't finished our sprinklers yet, but its not because of this project!  We needed to switch the heads from pop ups to rotaries and are just waiting for the sprinkler guy to finish our plans and deliver the parts.  In the mean time, I got bored!  I really LOVED making the bed, and wanted to do more with my house.  Other than knock-offwood  (the inspiration for the bed), my other favorite blog to follow is All Things Thrifty courtesy of my friend Mackenzie Walker(thanks again by the way, I totally LOVE her blog!).
Anywho, she has TONS of fun stuff on her blog, but the one I decided to conquer was reupholstering my daughter's couch.  It was somewhat unsightly to begin with, but over the last year and a half since we bought it it has become covered in marker, and tons of other stains.
Ugly, right?  There has been a lot of spilling on this poor little couch!  So I decided it needed a makeover.  On the blog I mentioned earlier there is this tutorial that was super easy to follow, and she made it sound easy.  Plus, it was a toddler couch.  How much could I mess that up?  Luckily, it was easy!  It was a bit time consuming taking all the staples out to take the fabric off, but once it was off it took about 2 hours to finish!  I am so pleased with it, and of course, I can't wait to start my next project!  I've found a fun new hobby!  Here's the end result.  I didn't even realize that I picked the same colors for the couch as my living room and dining room walls.  I really like blue and brown together, apparently.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Building a bed

So we finished out very first building project from Ana of KnockoffWood and it turned out great!  From start to finish we built and finished(painted) the bed in about 6 days.  We had a few problems, but overall it was fun and easy!  Vaeh's bed had been sitting on the floor for almost a year!  I had been meaning to just buy a metal frame, but couldn't spend $40 on a new one and couldn't find any cheap or free ones.  So we discovered Ana's website and fell in love with this bed.  Total it cost to build was a bout $140.  I know, its a lot more than $40, but this bed is beautiful and it will hopefully last her until she gets married, and even then maybe her and her hubby will want to share a full.  Who knows?  And the reason it ended up being so much is that we didn't have any supplies.  You'd be surprised at how much the cost of screws, wood putty, wood glue, sand paper, primer and paint add up!  The lumber by itself was about $80.

I also have to thank Rayan of The Frugal Designer.  She did a guest post on Ana's site about antique finishing that I thought would look perfect for Vaeh's bedroom.  We(or rather she) decided she wanted a Tinker bell bed spread so I thought we would design her room around that.  So we decided to put a purple underlayment under the white so that when we sanded the edges the purple would show through.  It turned out better than I thought it would and I LOVED the effect!

We still have a ways to go for the rest of her bedroom, but so far my husband and I like our daughter's room more than ours.  Its just so cozy!  I think we were more excited than she was, although she loves jumping on her bed now. 

Next up on the agenda is to put the same finish on the nightstand and decoupage some pretty fabric on it to spice it up a little.  Then we are going to paint the whole room a lavender color.  Its going to be pretty!  But my husband says we have to finish the landscaping first :(.  Probably a good idea.  I would like some grass in the yard!
I've got some big plans for our little house though, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Newest obsession

Its been awhile!  What to even blog about?  I have so many new interests/ideas that I'm not sure where to start.  I guess I can start off where I left off, with the couponing.  Its been harder than I thought it might be.  Coupons are tricky because all of a sudden you think you need to buy everything you have a coupon for.  Not true!  One shopping trip I spent about $50 on a shopping cart FULL of stuff, and I was pretty proud, until I came home and realized it was all junk food.  So yeah, that one is still a work in progress.  I am still determined, and have learned to only use coupons for stuff you usually buy, and to buy it when it is on sale.  THAT'S how you save money.  Ideally, anyway. 

Onto my next ambition!  So thanks to a friend I found this AWESOME blog called Knock off Wood.  Its a blog about this lady who builds furniture and posts the plans on how to make it yourself.  Since we've moved into our house we have had a lot of time on our hands, and now that we've found this blog we can get back to building!  I know, its funny that I just wanted to finish and be done with it, but I kinda fell in love with it.  And now Aaron and I have a hobby we can do together!  I might even be more excited than him!  The only problem is now we need to buy tools.  We have a few, and my brother in law has a lot, but I want my own so I don't have to borrow.  My list of tools to buy is:
circular saw
table saw
miter saw
finish nailer
jig saw
and router w/ table

I think that about covers it.  We obviously don't have the dough to buy all at once, but Aaron's birthday is coming up, which gives us the chance to splurge on one of the more expensive tools like a miter or table saw.  And who knows, if we are good enough maybe we'll sell some pieces to make the money we spent on tools back.  I am excited to start!  I also have a list of stuff I want to build.  All, or most of the furniture we have was given to us.  Not that I'm complaining.  Free furniture is great, but now I'm excited to build exactly the kind of furniture I want:
head board
(the one we have now is my parents old one, and is technically a waterbed head board)
dressers for each of us
a book shelf for Vaeh and Joseph
(they are really cute, a doll house shape for Vaeh, and a rocket for Joseph)
night stands
a work bench
and a new table
(that last one will be my masterpiece, its the hardest, but prettiest!)

I've decided that Aaron and I are DIYers.  We have our babies at home(technically we have a midwife, but she is there mostly for moral support, and cleaning up afterwards), build our own house, homeschooling, growing food.  If there is any way for us to do it ourselves I just find it more gratifying.  I just got a subscription to Mother Earth News (excellent magazine!) which just makes me want to get solar panels so we don't have to pay for electricity.  The idea of homesteading totally appeals to me, but I think I'll take it slow.  I get discouraged fairly easily.  So for now its building furniture.  I think I've gotten to the point of rambling, so that's all for now.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Savvy shopper

For the last few months I have been following a blog from a lady who bargain shops with coupons and all that savvy shopper stuff.  For a while I thought, "that's too much work to find all the bargains and coupons and go to all the different stores she was getting her deals from".  Then I saw her annual breakdown of how much she spent vs how much she saved.  This woman on average spent about $100 a month on groceries and household items!  Not just that, but she saved from $100 to $1000 every month!  So that means she got $200-$1000 worth of stuff every month for $100!  So after seeing that I was sold!

I am now following about 3 blogs of people who show you where to get the deals/coupons and whatever else to cut your grocery bill.  In fact, today one of the bloggers went shopping and bought $104 worth of groceries for $7!  I also subscribe to the Pinching Your Pennies newsletter,   and a bunch of couponing sites.  Its not nearly as complicated as I once thought it to be either.  All of these resources just show me where to get the coupons.  They also have shopping lists for several different grocery stores so that you know whats on sale where.  I've already had one fun shopping trip where I bought $70 worth of groceries for $40, but I am determined to do better.  Right now I don't have my printer hooked up to print coupons. Once I get that up and running its going to be money saving madness!  I've also got some fun tips for shopping online too!

So I suppose many of my future posts will be on my savings.  After all, the more I save the more I can buy.  Aaron is starting Capoeira classes this week due to our projected savings, and I'm hoping we can even start saving for an awesome family vacation sometime this year.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Home Life

So we've been living in our new home for about a month now and it feels like home.     We are all unpacked except for our book boxes.  This is due to the fact that we don't have enough housing for our books right now.  We are wanting to build shelves at the end of the hall way for said problem, but we've been spending like drunken sailors for a while and have decided to put ourselves back on a budget.  Our housing accounts still haven't been closed, which means we haven't had to pay our mortgage yet, and we still don't have a set date.  The result?  Free flying cash!  Then we came to our senses and figured it might be a wiser decision to save than spend.

Our lived in kitchen

Our dining room/desk area(picture courtesy of Vaeh)

The living room being lived in

Since we've moved in we've maid a few improvements.  First, we switched the refrigerator door.  It was opening into the laundry room rather than the kitchen.  Then we switched out the light fixtures in the bathroom.  They were those hideous Hollywood type lights, so that was a no brainer.  Then we built our own baby gate for the stairs.  Joseph is a new walker, which translates into him being super clumsy.  Our stairway is at the end of the hallway and I would just hold my breath every time he would walk by.  So we figured since we built our house, a gate would be a piece of cake.  Not so.  We struggled, but it is finally up and functional after some slight alterations from the original plan.  I think it looks nice, but Aaron wants to build another.  I don't blame him, we did have to jimmy rig it to fit.  No painting yet.  I can't seem to decide on colors, or which walls to paint.  It makes such a huge difference, so I don't want to make a bad choice.

The baby gate in all its glory

One quite impulsive and not well thought out choice we made was to get a puppy. Our original plan was to wait until the spring when our gate is up so that house training, and everything else that comes along with a dog, would be easier.  Since KSL is my new favorite place to shop, I of course was looking at puppies.  Aaron expressed his interest in Huskies, so we found some really cute husky muts(they have lab and german shepherd) that were really cute and we caved.  He is super cute and has one blue eye.  He looks like a husky with the floppy ears of a lab.  I hadn't had a dog since I lived in Farmington, and I either forgot or never noticed that puppies are somewhat of a pain.  He hasn't had many accidents in the house and has been surprisingly easy to house train.  The problem is his constant need to chew on everything(including the children), and his tiny bladder that makes him have to pee every two hours(including night time too).  I have to constantly watch him to make sure he isn't peeing somewhere, or chewing the children.  I also have to watch the kids to make sure they aren't torturing the dog.  Breaking him of the biting habit has proven to be difficult.  Last night I was toying with the idea of getting rid of him, but he has also brought something to the table.  Because of the dog, my brother Drew has decided he wants to come around often.  Its been fun to have Drew over, and I'm pretty sure if the dog goes Drew will follow suit.  I'm hanging in there fighting for the idea that when Kenai(our puppy) gets bigger he will be a wonderful, loyal and smart dog.  For those two reasons the puppy has immunity for now.

The little trouble maker the day after we got him

Looking innocent

I suppose this post has exceeded its limit so I will leave it at that.