Sunday, August 24, 2014

Charlotte: Month 11

-Takes 3-4 steps without assistance

-"Talks" constantly- mama, dada and ola- her version of Lola

- Weighs 20 lbs (and somehow still fits in this 6m onsie)

- Loves to comb her own hair

-LOVES ice cream... paces in front of us when she knows we're eating it

- Drinks water from a cup.

- Claps and waves. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Highchair Makeover

With Charlotte's first birthday quickly approaching, I have been scouring Pinterest for photo ideas. We have actually booked with the photographer who did her newborn pictures for her 1-year pics BUT I also want cute pictures for the party itself. We have decided to have her party at my parent's house this year and so I started to think about where we will do the smash cake. After seeing lots of pictures on Pinterest, I decided I would keep my eye out for a wooden highchair.

About 2 weeks ago, I had my annual physical (which I haven't done in 2 years since I was pregnant last year) and I noticed a kids consignment shop across the street so I decided to pop in and see what they had in. First thing I saw when I walked in the door was this little guy sitting by the door.

It was pretty beat up and I had a hard time removing the tray. The shop owner helped me fix the sliding tray so that everything was functional. Everything else was cosmetic and could be fixed with some sanding. The shop owner ended up taking $5 off so I scored the highchair for $20! 

At this point I wasn't really sure how I wanted to refinish it. I honestly wasn't expecting to fid a highchair so easily. I found lots of ideas that I liked but these were some of the top contenders: dark stain, Teal chalk paint, or a basic white. 

In the end, I was a creature of habit and decided to go with what I knew I would love. I also wanted it to be something we would get use out of AFTER the party. So while a teal/aqua colored highchair would be fabulous to have at her party, I wasn't sure how much it would get used after. So I decided to go two tone, just like Charlotte's dresser

I didn't take step by step pics BUT it was fairly simple. This particular wood did give me some trouble so there were a few more steps then usual. 

1) I wiped everything down with deglosser.
2) I started with the roughest grit sandpaper for the tray and worked my way to the finer stuff until the tray was back to raw wood.  I used three different grits with the finest being 220. 
3) I used the 220 grit paper to rough up the surfaces of the highchair itself. Because I was going to paint that part I did not need to strip it completely. 
4) I removed all the dust. This was the hardest part!! 
5) I used Valspar White Satin paint for the "chair" part. It took 4 cans in total. LOTS of thin coats. The issued I had was some texture that would arise after painting. It was not noticeable but I could feel it so I ended up sanding it down between coats, removing the dust and painting another coat. This did help but it made the process much longer. 
6) The top also has the same issue with texture and the wood really ate the stain. It took 5 coats of stain and 2 coats of poly to get the right shade and sheen I wanted. We applied the stain with cheesecloth and used super fine steel wool between coats to remove any texture. The stain is my go to stain: Minwax "Red Mahogany".  Followed by Rustoleum's gloss spray poly. 

And the finals results are perfect:

I spent $20 on the highchair and $20 at Lowe's on spray paint and poly. I already has everything else on hand from my last project. Not too bad for $40! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Charlotte: Month 10

+ Weighs 19.8 pounds

+  Stands without assistance

+ Can walk with her walker or holding onto the edge of the couch

+ Says "da da".

+ Tries to say "ma ma".. it comes out "na na" and we go with it!

+ Fights with Lola over who gets the Little People animals

+ Tries to stand up in the tub and thinks its SO funny.

+ Started ISR lessons

+ Favorite food is still Avocado

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Father's Day 2014

Since this year was Tim's first official Father's Day, I thought it deserved its own post. I spent a good deal of time putting together his main gift this year. It was fairly simple but getting an almost 9 months old ( at the time) to cooperate is no easy feat!

I had to get my Mother-in- Law to assist: one of us to take pictures and one of us to distract the baby!

In the end I am really pleased with the way it turned out. So much so that I replicated the idea for the grandpas :)

I had a REALLY hard time finding a horizontal triple frame so I ended up having to use a vertical one.  I also ordered some custom fishing bobber cake pops and a sweet card from Charlotte.

We spent a pretty low key day together as a family and Tim loved his gifts. Charlotte is SO blessed to have such an AMAZING daddy! :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Charlotte: Month 9

+ Crawls everywhere! Starting crawling on Memorial day.. shortly after her 8 month update!

+ Can sign milk: she doesn't know how to use it in context yet but we are working on it!

+ Pulls herself up on anything within reach.

+ Loves the puppies... they never cease to make her laugh. Unfortunately, we had to put down our youngest pup this month who interacted the most with Charlotte. Our hearts are still heavy :(

+ Only wants to feed herself... wants nothing to do with the spoon. Her favorite food at the moment is  avocado.

+ We call her a " puff addict"... she gets SO excited when she sees the container.

+ Has the best giggles.

+ Has officially been out as long as she was in!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Let there NOT be light

Around 11 months ago, when I was still pregnant and working on the nursery, I had a harm time justifying the cost of Blackout curtains. As I mentioned then, I opted for the regular panels. I don't want to say that I regret that decision but Charlotte's room was TOO bright.. even with blinds and curtain panels.

The reason I say I don't regret the blackout panels is that I am not 100% sure they would have made a difference in our case. Because Charlotte's room has 2 windows and 2 closets, we had no choice but to place both the crib and the dresser in front of the windows. So while she does have curtains, opening and closing panels behind the furniture would be super difficult (and noisy) to do each time the baby was sleeping.

So back in December, we decided to try our hand at tinting her windows. The only product our local Lowe's had in stock at that time was the Gila Glare Control Bronze. Honestly, we didn't really research anything in advance and just picked up one roll to try it out on one of the windows in the nursery. We lived with it for a couple of weeks and it did made a difference in the amount of light coming through. So, we decided to go back to Lowe's to purchase a second roll to tint the window behind the crib. This time they were fully stocked and we found Gila Privacy Control Black. It also is room darkening which is EXACTLY what we were looking for. So we tried that on the other window. It was perfect: the room was significantly darker and you can't see anything if you peer in from the outside. Oh and her room stays cooler!

We left one window bronze and the other with the privacy control film for a few days before deciding to replace the original bronze window with the privacy control. I thought this would be a nightmare but it was relatively easy to remove and didn't leave any residue on the windows.

As far as application goes, we laid the film out on the tile floors, measured the windows and cut each panel to size. You can really only get one average/large sized window per roll of the product.

We cut the product into two rectangles and applied one at a time rubbing out the bubbles as we went.

Overall the application went well: we don't have any bubbles and the product looks great. Our corners aren't perfect but there are blinds over the window anyway so you don't really see it unless you are looking for it.

We have lived with the product for about 6 months now and have been extremely happy with it so far! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Front Yard Makeover Part 2

After my original battle with the City I mentioned in this post, I had a REALLY hard time finding a Palm on their "approved tree list" that was less than $2k just for the tree. I called the City several times and no one ever got back to me. So honestly, I left things looking like this a little longer than we had intended too.

Finally, I decided to plant a tree on their list but it did not meet the size requirements. I went to a local nursery and purchased a Large Triple Robellini Palm and picked out several other plants to compliment it. Due to the size of the Palm, I decided to go ahead and hire the nursery staff to go ahead and install everything.
 Lucky for us, we had a HUGE rain storm after they got done planting that day. We were able to center the new plants and transplant the sod to the circle area where the tree use to be. Everything filled in really well and we had quite the weekend transformation on the front yard!

Part of me loved having the tree in the front.  I always thought we would hang a swing there for Charlotte. But this makes things so much easier! Tim was spending so much time each weekend raking and cleaning the front patio. We couldn't let the dogs out front because of the all the acorns (they try to eat them)! Overall, we are really happy with the way things look now. The best part was all the plants and the install cost me just under $900!! Way better then my original $1700 estimate.

Oh and the best news... I requested an inspection from the City and passed:)