Monday, May 5, 2014

Finishing my Walking Challenge!!

So remember this post in October where I said I was doing the Walktober Challenge and wanted to get 10,000 steps per day for a month. Well I'm here to say, it didn't happen. I could blame it on Olivia, but really it was me. It got cold, I went back to work, I got lazy and comfortable, and it just didn't happen. So every month I've been trying again to do it. And failing...

Until April!! When I completed 300,000 steps in 30 days!!! I got off to a good start the first week of the month, and stuck with it! I'm so happy I did and now I will finally get that piece of furniture that Isaac said he would build me if I did it! I want it to go in the corner of our bedroom for socks storage and somewhere to catch barely worn clothes.


Any ideas for what my next challenge should be?

And video of Olivia trying to steal Isaac's food (please excuse Bob's Burgers in the background)
video

Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Page Wall Done!!

On Monday Olivia will be 9 months old! I can't believe time has gone so fast, but I'm glad to have finally finished this project that I had in my mind for so long! Thank you everyone for giving Olivia so many books and for giving pages to go on the wall and suggestions. It made it so personalized and it was so nice to include part of so many people in this wall :)

When I was first deciding on decorating Olivia's room, I didn't want it to be too girly in case we have a boy at some point and they have to share a room, and I wanted it to be something Olivia could grow into. I love books, Isaac loves books, so we thought maybe a book room could be gender neutral. And I saw this blog where they used book pages as wallpaper, and thought that would be fun!


Before Olivia was born, my mom and dad came over and helped me paint her room and add a layer wallpaper so we could more easily remove this if we ever decide to. We used this paintable wallpaper and this wallpaper paste and only got as far as putting the wallpaper up...

So, my mom came over at 10 and I had warned her ahead of time that we would be working on this instead of walking. So put a portacrib in our bedroom, put Olivia down for a nap, and got started! I managed to print all but 3 of the pages before my ink ran out completely. 


After much thought, I decided to scan and print the pages only in black, on very white paper rather than the manilla I had originally thought to use. I was afraid that manilla would look dingy quickly and we might not be able to space out colored images easily on the wall. I had 327 pages that I printed as 5x7 so it took 164 sheets of paper for this wall (I had thought I needed about 300 pages, so I added extra and I'm glad I did!)


We had a pretty even mix of pages with just words, and pages with images on them, so we sorted them into piles (images horizontal, images vertical, full page words, less than full pages words) so we could get an relatively even mix. We started in the middle so we could make it not uniform and my mom and I went different directions so we could get more done.
We started by cutting the pages to the size we wanted then rolling the wallpaper paste directly onto the wall, then putting the page on the wall. I was afraid that if we did it on the paper, it might get too wet and rip. Even doing it that way, the paper did get pretty wet and we had to be careful about smoothing it as we went. We used a dough scraper to make sure it was even and smooth out the edges and tried not to use our finger because they got covered with ink and smudged. My mom did much better than I did, I got kinda lazy as the day wore on and over pasted and then used my fingers, so you can tell what side I did and what side she did if you come look...

At this point, Olivia woke up and we took a break to have lunch. 

I should have videod it, but at one point we put Olivia in her crib to keep her from grabbing everything that she shouldn't (wallpaper jug, any scrap of paper that fell on the floor, a paint roller, the stools, etc. How does she know exactly what doesn't normally belong in her room? The Duplos she normally loves to play with were forgotten) and she thought that my mom was playing peekaboo with her anytime she turned around and was giggling up a storm! Olivia did pretty good considering all the excitement and not being paid attention to for a while, especially because she has gotten more clingly in the past couple of days.

Then at a little before 6pm (almost 8 hours!), we finally finished! Here is the final product before moving everything back into place and final touch ups. I'm so happy with the mix of words and images, it really looks amazing! And we had only 2 pages leftover! I really cut it close....

My mom couldn't believe that we got it all done in one day, but I'm so glad we did!


And all cleaned up right before we put Olivia to bed for the night. It really wasn't too much of a mess to clean up, just the rollers and paper scraps and putting everything back where it belonged.




So Olivia's book nursery is almost done! I still have the hook rug to complete, but I think it is pretty much decorated now. Hopefully this is something she can grow into, because it was a lot of work!

Thank you so much Mommy for all your help. It turned out better than I could have imagined!

And video of Olivia doing her new favorite trick...
video

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I've got worms!!

And I'm so excited!!! Isaac says I shouldn't phrase it like that, but it caught your attention!


So my friend Kyla has been using worms for composting for a good while now. And because she is moving to San Diego (I'm not jealous) because she is getting married and her fiance said that she could build a larger home for worms when she gets there, she said I could have her already established homemade worm composting system! I was so excited! I've always want to compost better (I just hate waste) and my attempts have been poor to say the least. I have a trash can outside that I was going to compost in, but I never remembered to roll it or take the compost out.




So Kyla brought over the system this weekend with her amazing cheat sheet on how to take care of the worms! Isaac just rolled his eyes at my excitement and I told him thank you for letting me have it. He said we hadn't really discussed it (oops) but was glad I was so happy. Here are her rules:



⅓ food
⅔ Dry Stuff
Yes
Almost Anything Organic: crushed eggshells, coffee grinds, peels, etc.
Newspaper, dryer lint, leaves, cardboard
No
Meat, Dairy, Citrus, Poop
Bleached white paper, shiny paper

When you add food, put it under the top layer of dry stuff.

Ideal moisture is the same as a squeezed out kitchen sponge. Just add more dry stuff if it is too wet.

Worms get unhappy if:
  • it’s too wet, cause they think they’ll drown (add dry stuff)
  • ridiculous amount of food in container (just hold off on adding food and they’ll catch up)
  • left in sunlight or temps outside 50⁰-90⁰ F
Harvest Time: Take top layer of newspaper from “home” tub and add to empty tub. Put tub on top and only add food to it. They’ll move as there’s nothing left in the old tub.

These are red wiggler worms, the only kind that can live happily in a shallow container.

Kyla recommended me keeping it in my basement, so I'm going to put it our pantry area downstairs! It smells like dirt, not like rotted food so the reason for keeping it downstairs is for the temperature. I spent Saturday morning feeding the worms leftovers from spaghetti night (bread crusts, Olivia's sweet potatoes, onion top) and some dryer lint, but gonna start a food container so I don't overwhelm them! Yay! Happy Rebecca! Thank you so much Kyla!

And ubiquitous picture of Olivia!
Eating dirt at Stone Mountain playground

Friday, April 25, 2014

Nerdy Baby Moment of the Week (April 25)

This nerdy outfit is thanks to my amazingly artistic sister-in-law who free handed this awesome onesie for Olivia! And since my little girl will not keep still long enough to snap a full photo, the onesie says:

Time and Relative Deprivation in Sleep (TARDIS)

I put the bow in Olivia's hair because I shouldn't let it, but it bothers me when people think she is a boy. I mean although her outfit is mostly blue, she has pink flowers and butterflies on her pants, but someone will miss that. The other day I was in Kroger and Olivia was in a white and pink onesie, and two people asked how old he was. One of them then proceeded to ask if I was expecting another too...no, just leftovers from this one, Thanks!
Olivia reading her "Pat the Bunny" book from Kelly!

Right side up any everything...


And this is what pictures of Olivia look like lately, especially if snapped from my phone which never manages to take quick enough photos before Olivia has moved on from the doing the adorable thing I'm trying to capture...

Come back next Friday for another installment of me trying to brainwash my child into being nerdy!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

We could go bigger...

So I may be slightly behind on printing my wedding pictures, considering that we got married almost 4 years ago. I promised my mom and mother-in-law to make them wedding Albums, but that never happened...

So with blank living room walls and Kyla's suggestion to do a big frame rather than lots of little frames, and not being able to decide what pictures I wanted up (how could I choose? Rebekah and Kevin take amazing photos), I decided to try a mosaic photo. And I am so pleased with how it turned out!!I used Easy Moza and it was amazing and easy (like it says)! Then I got the photo printed at Sams Club in a 20x30! Did you know they did that?

Here is how I did it:

Full Mosaic

Zoomed in area of mosaic



Take an old photo/frame and a ruler and a pencil
and the new poster!
Take the old photo and frame apart and flip the old photo
Measure and center the new poster in the old one
Realize that the border not being the same all the way around is really going
 to bother you and go downstairs and get more tools to make it even...

Return with double sided tape, an Xacto knife, clippers and a cutting board
Cut everything down by 2 inches


Put the new photo back in the frame now that it is evenly centered
 and Windex the plastic/glass because it is covered with dust and all your fingerprints
Snip the 2" off the black frame
Realize that you should have cut 1" off each side of the backer board
 because now the hanger is no longer in the middle of the board (oops)

Also, realize that you can't hang the photo yet because you did this project
 while your 8 month old was sleeping because she would have tried to put
every scrap in her mouth and probably have tried to eat the Xacto knife...
Finally hang the photo and realize that I could have "gone bigger" and that I need to fill in all that blank space... another project for another day :)
And I'll leave you with the awesome commercial that I got the title of this blog post from
 for a company that no longer exists...

Monday, April 21, 2014

The State of the Union (or just our living room floor)

I like keeping a pretty clean house. I really can't stand clutter on surfaces (especially my kitchen counters and my dining room tables) and I like to keep the Living room clean because that is the room I spend most of my time in at the moment. But now that Olivia is mobile, it is nearly impossible to keep the living room clean. 

See below:

And this is not just a couple days worth of clutter, this is one morning (from 6:30 to 8am). Olivia managed to pull out her entire container of toys and drink coasters, got fussy so I put some Cherrios on the floor for her to eat (is that bad? I was trying to get some eggs made for us and when I feed her off the floor, I can see her better than in her high chair), and then got distracted from the Cherrios and decided to play with the laundry.

The thing is, I don't even know why I keep putting them back! Maybe because I think that she probably enjoys pulling everything out as much as playing with just 1 thing, maybe because I'm trying to encourage her to crawl more, maybe just because I'm insane (doing something over and over and expecting a different result). Either way, it is currently tidied up until Olivia wakes up from her nap and the whole cycle starts again.

Really I'm enjoying her exploring and don't mind when she gets into things that won't kill her (not like outlets, power cords, hot ovens, why do they like things that are most likely to hurt them? Do they instinctively know?) Now I just need to teach her that putting things back is just as fun as pulling it all out :)

video
Having fun playing with Laundry

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Key to Happiness

This post is not about the key to my happiness, but truly the "keys" that make Olivia happy. See what I did there :) I know it is lame, I need more adult social interaction in my life...

So Olivia loves my keys. Whenever I have them in my hand and am trying to buckle her up in the car, she grabs my keys. It is actually helpful to have her hold them while I'm trying to get everything in the car, but when I take them away from her to start the car or unlock the front door (you know the thing you need keys for) she is furious! It might be because we just went on a shopping trip and she is tired, it might be that she doesn't like sitting by herself in the back of the car without toys that she will eventually drop, but she usually is very mad when I take them. She also tends to drop my keys while at the grocery store and as much as I love Kroger, I do eventually want to make it home.

So I was considering buying some toy keys like my friend Vickie has ($14.99 on Amazon)
but I'm cheap so I figured I could make a set of my own for Olivia.

So I went to my local friendly Ace Hardware and got a couple of blank keys without pokey edges and a stretchy band with a whistle (because Olivia might eventually figure out how to use it and doesn't make enough noise as is...) and got some of my own key chain accessories and made Olivia her own. Apparently I'm not the first person who has done this because the guy helping me with the keys asked me what happened to the other set I made for my daughter. And they only cost $7! And here is how they turned out:
Lego Darth Vader, a little light, a couple old
rewards cards, 4 keys, a whistle and a stretchy band
To those who haven't been to an Ace Hardware in a while, I have to say I love going into them. Everyone at the one nearest my house is so nice and helpful and have lots of random things you might need (mine currently has a decorative candle section, I'm not sure why) and always know what you mean when you are looking for something ("you know those things to keep your baby from sticking their fingers in the outlets"). (Ace Hardware is not paying me to say this or has any idea that I'm saying this, I just love their stores)

So that is the current "key" to Olivia's happiness during car trips and grocery errands. Come back soon for more horrible-pun-filled projects!!
video


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Being Bored

So yesterday was a pretty lame day for me. I spent most of the day on the couch, didn't get any chores completed (started one load of laundry and just washed a couple dishes) and didn't even get my 10,000 steps (I'm still trying to get a full month of 10,000 steps a day so I can get something like this to use for extra storage in my bedroom).

I have a little girl who is crawling quite a bit these days but can't get very far off the carpet because she doesn't have enough friction to get very far in winter clothes (where did this cold weather come from?!). She is even pulling up on the couch which means I need to be around to be sure she doesn't fall and bump her head (again) because she hasn't learned that she needs to hold on yet. She somehow managed to bruise her ear when she fell, who has ever heard of that happening before? What age do they learn cause and effect...?

I've been getting up every morning with Isaac (first alarm goes off at 4:45, but we always snooze it for 10 minutes) to make his lunch and coffee and have been staying up because trying to go back to sleep just makes me more exhausted. For the past week, I have actually been getting lots of things done in preparation for the Young Marrieds party we hosted this past weekend, but yesterday morning all I had were "boomerang projects" which I really just didn't want to do. I couldn't even get myself motivated to read more of "The Happiness Project" which I have been reading nearly every day.

And this morning I finally realized what it was. I am bored!! I have been doing my 4 hours of work each day, then any chores that needed doing (cleaning up after Olivia, dishes, laundry) but no projects! Last week, I finished several major projects: I re-muded and painted the kitchen wall where we had a leak several months ago, I cleaned the basement so that we could set up a playroom area for Olivia, finished part of a side project that took me a couple days to figure out, patched a hole in the living room and painted.You would think that I would never get bored with a baby girl to play with, but she is rather independent and wants to explore everything, which means I usually can't keep her attention for long.

I know this can sound kinda lame, but I did one of those career/hobbies quiz the other morning to figure out what I might be able to do in my spare time to increase my happiness (I'm happy but I could always be happier). I found out I'm a "seer":
As a Seer, you are always on the lookout for new things to ignite your passion. You can get fired up about a lot of things and do best to when you have a number of projects going. Reorganizing your home, gardening, solving a jigsaw puzzle, knitting or beading are all interesting to you. You need projects where you can envision the end product. Don’t beat yourself up for not finishing things because the passion for you comes with seeing what something will be and trying to make it. If you can’t get there fast enough, you will likely start something different. It’s a given. Courses in psychology, astrology or other subjects that fuel your passion for seeing why people do what they do are also compelling.
That is completely me! It explains my hobbies and projects and jobs and why I never finish things! And I have a long list of projects to do and finish, so I need to just get on them! First project, hang some mirrors in my bedroom!

Ok and here is a cute picture of Olivia, because really that is all anyone wants to see anyway :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Next walking Challenge: Walk-tober!

Ok, I know the name of the challenge is super cheesy and for some reason reminds you of something that Barney would invent on "How I Met Your Mother", but I am badly in need of getting back to walking everyday!

The challenge is 10,000 steps each day for each day of October, adding up to 310,000 steps for the month! Who is with me?! Let me know and I can add you to our Google Doc to keep track!


Smug after pulling out her tube
Today Olivia is 8 weeks old and with the ability to feed her when she is hungry and not on a specific schedule, I now am more flexible in being able to walk each day. I had a great walk with my Lamaze friend Vickie at Stone Mountain last week and now I'm craving more! Also had a very frustrating clothes shopping trip where I wore the wrong bra and still am trying to figure out what to wear with my shape (stomach still squishy, my boobs are much bigger these days and I don't know what to do with them). With the 4 weeks in the hospital where I didn't leave the room often enough, and the 4 weeks at home where we were on a strict schedule and I watched her closely to make sure she wouldn't pull out her NG tube (I hate putting it back in, she cries like we are killing her), I am ready to get out walking again. Now if she takes it out we can leave it out all day or if she hits her minimum (500 cc), we won't even have to put it back in! She is definitely getting better, she took 260 of 500 Saturday, 360 of 500 yesterday, and even woke up and took the bottle immediately this morning. She normally just grins at me with the bottle in her mouth like "Good try, Mommy, I'm too happy for this".

So with the weather being so wonderful and Olivia eating better and feeling out of sorts with my body, I'm going to be walking! Will you be joining me?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nerdy Weekly Baby Size: Week 23

So one of my favorite things about being pregnant is finding out what is happening with the baby each week (how they are growing, what they are developing, etc). But what I don't care for is how they measure the size of the baby, which tends to be the size of fruit and vegetables.
So based on thebump.com, this week she is the size of a grapefruit. I don't know about you, but when I'm at the grocery store, vegetables and fruits tend to come in lots of different sizes. My favorite was last week's, which said she was the size of a papaya! I don't know if you've ever bought one, but they tend to come in lots of various sizes. Why can't they just pick something that does not vary in size like a ping pong ball and such? I know every baby isn't the same size, but this is rather ridiculous...
So I've decided to figure out my baby's length in nerdy items and determine her size every week based on that. So without further ado:

Nerdy Weekly Baby size!

Week 23:
Length: Height of Green Lantern lantern (11.5 inches)

Weight: 1136 1x1 legos (1.10 pound)
Me at 23 weeks going to Mary Poppins!