Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dresser Makeover

I finished Parker's dresser!  It only took me ten months, but I did it.  Yay!  I bought his dresser on Craigslist, on November 10th last year.  The only reason I remember the exact date is because it was the day before Ryder was born.  I bought it with only seeing a picture online and the sellers delivered it to me for a total of $45.  In all honesty if I would have gone to look at it, I probably would not have bought it, the dresser is part laminate and that wasn't what I was looking for.  But, at nine months pregnant I didn't feel like dealing with it, so I kept it.  Then life happened, things were crazy and the dresser was serving its purpose and it sat unpainted and neglected for 10 months until I finally got around to painting it Parker's favorite color, yellow.  Well it was Parker's favorite color when I bought the paint, now I'm not really sure, it seems to change daily.  I think the yellow goes perfectly with his superhero room though!

Supplies for painting Laminate:
- Lacquer Thinner
- Bonding Primer
- Latex or Plastic Paint
- Polycrylic Protective Finish
- Paint Brush

- Wipe surface with lacquer thinner to remove any oil and grease and to open the pores of the laminate, making it more receptive to paint.
- Apply a couple coats of bonding primer.  The bonding primer is designed for slick, shiny surfaces, like laminate.
- Apply paint coats, allowing to dry between coats.  The amount of coats will depend on the color.  I applied six coats!  Yellow is always hard to paint.  I found the paint at Walmart and it had been returned or was the color for someone else, so it was only $8.  Score for me!  I had planned on painting it yellow and randomly found the returned paint, so it made choosing a shade of yellow very easy.  It saved me a lot of time going through paint samples.  The color is called Buttercup and I love it!
- I chose to apply a couple coats of a polycrylic protective finish, because it was going in a 3 1/2 year old's room.  Let's face it, little boys can be a rough and any added protection is plus!
- Let dry thoroughly.  I let mine dry and set for a good five days, before applying new hardware and putting it in Parker's room.  The top knobs I already owned from a previous project and the pulls I found on Amazon.  I like the pop of black on the buttercup yellow.

I only have one before picture and its not a very good one.  I deliberately never took pictures of it before, because I thought the dresser was ugly, so it was hard to even find one picture.  I took quite a few pictures of the process, but they somehow got deleted or they are lost on my computer somewhere.  I've spent too much time looking for them and I gave up.  So, I apologize for the lack of before and progress pictures.



New black hardware

My little helper

Happy Champagne Thursday!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Preparing for Spring

We got a little head start on next years gardening, by building an another raised garden bed for our yard.  I wanted more space to be able to plant a few more veggies and spread things out a little more.  I've planted things too close together, so our garden is very crowded.  For example, I don't follow the directions when the little instructional tag says plant things 18" apart, its more like 9".  This year we had strawberries, a couple tomato plants, two zucchini plants and carrots in our garden.  Too much for a 4' x6' garden!  I want to be able to plant more and try out new things, so Chris and I built an additional 4' x 8' raised garden bed.

4' x 8' Raised Bed

What we used:

9 - 2 x6x8 Douglas Fir Boards - $41.13 for nine boards at Lowe's
1 - 4x4x8 board - $8.22 at Lowe's
Wood Screws - Already owned these
Thick Black Plastic Sheeting - Found in the paint section for around $9 and we have a lot of extra.
Spray Wood Stain - Found on clearance at Michaels for around $3
Staple Gun

First we started by cutting three of our 2x6x8 boards in half, so we would have six, four feet boards.  Then we cut our 4x4 in four pieces, in lengths of 18 inches for the corners.  We only needed 6 feet of the 4x4, so we had a couple feet left over.  Next we laid out all the pieces to begin assembling our raised bed.  We started with the shortest sides of the garden first and attached the four foot pieces to the 4x4's.  After we had each four foot side done, we stood them up and attached the eight foot boards.

I found some spray wood stain on clearance at Michael's for around three dollars and was able to spray the raised bed with one can.  It is a pretty close match to what is on our other raised bed.  I cut some black plastic approximately 18" wide and lined the interior of the garden to give the wood a little extra protection.  I used my staple gun to attach the lining.  Then Chris and I used our muscles and moved the raised bed to where we wanted it.  That sucker is heavy!  Then we filled the garden with the sod Chris had dug up from our backyard landscaping project.  We are hoping the sod composts some, so we can use it for gardening and our lawn next Spring.  I've added some food scraps to the pile and done my best to mix it in with the sod.  When we put the sod into the garden bed, the stuff at the bottom seemed to be composting some.  But, it's an experiment so we'll see how it works. The new raised bed definitely cleaned up our yard by containing all that sod.  Before it was just in a pile in the yard and looked very messy.  We added mulch around both garden beds to sync it up with the rest of your landscaping we did this summer.  It's looking pretty good if I do say so myself.  I'm looking forward to having more space to grow more goodies next year.

Happy Champagne Thursday!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Multipurpose Play Table

Parker had a Thomas the Train table that was great, but it only had one purpose, to play trains.   Parker has accumulated quite a few toys over his 46 months and with the addition of his little brothers toys, we have more toys than we know what to do with.  I wanted to move some of Parker's downstairs toys upstairs to his bedroom.  His train table took up a lot of space for one activity, so I converted the train table into a multipurpose play table.  

The train tracks were glued to the table, so I removed them and brought the table top out to my garage to paint.  I painted the under side of the train table a navy blue, to better match Parker's superhero room and so he could play with more toys.  I like things to match :)  I was thinking the table would be a good place for Parker to play with his toys with small pieces, like his marbles and play mobile toys, so they could be out of the way from his little brother.  Ryder started pulling up on things early, so we have to make sure all of the small toys are put away after Parker is done playing with them.  And what do you know, one of Ryder's favorite places to play is the 'train table'.  He crawls into his brothers room, pulls himself up and pushes cars or throws toys off the table.  

Even though we can't leave small toys out, it's still a great place to play and now we can play with a lot more than just trains.  And now it matches his room a little better.

Trains, cars, legos, marbles, play mobile toys....

Happy Champagne Thursday!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Happy 10 Month Old

Ryder is 10 months old today!

What he's been up to the past month:

Sleep:  Ryder is sleeping through night and taking better naps!  Yay, this makes mom so happy!  He sleeps from about 7:30 PM - 7:00 AM, then a little over an hour morning nap and about a 45 minute afternoon nap. This is such a big improvement from his two fifteen minutes naps.

Food:  He wants to try whatever I am eating, he grabs my hand with food and puts it in his mouth.  I can't hold him and eat anything unless I'm willing to share.  He seems to like feeding himself best.

Stairs:  Ryder is getting very good at climbing the stairs and crawls over to them if the baby gate is left open.  He likes to stand at the gate at the top of the stairs and look down and also enjoys throwing toys down the stairs.

Moving:  He pulls himself up on anything and everything and walks while holding onto things.  He walks while pushing his toy car.  He attempts to stand on his own for a second or two when he lets go of things.

Sounds:  Ryder has been making a lot more sounds lately.  He'll say "mama" but its usually when he's crying and upset.  He starting to say "da da" and what sounds like "hi".  He says "ba ba ba ba", "ahhh" all the time and various other sounds.

He continues to get into everything.  We've had to do a little more baby proofing than we did with Parker, including securing furniture to the walls.  He likes to pull himself up on his book shelf, shake it and watch the lamp on top move.

Ryder got to go on his first and second boat ride on Grandpa Ron's boat on Flathead lake.  He was pretty content, although I don't think he was a big fan of his life jacket, it made things a little harder to move around.  He even enjoyed a nice little nap on the boat.

He's going through a biting phase right now and I hope it is very short lived.  He's got four sharp little teeth.

Ryder loves to throw things, as seen in one of the pictures below.  He'll throw something, then crawl after it, throw it again and do it repeatedly.  It's pretty funny and entertaining.

Enjoy the pictures from his 10 month photo shoot.  Hope they bring a smile to your face!  He sure brings a lot of smiles to mine.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Call Your Grandparents

This Sunday is Grandparents day, so do something special for them.  Give them a call, have your kids call their grandparents or better yet stop by and see them if you live nearby.  

This year Instagram was a pretty big deal, so I made a couple collages of some of my favorite Instagram pictures for Park and Ryde's grandparents and great-grandma.  I made the 5 x 7 collages in Google Picasa, which makes it incredibly easy.  I was only going to make one, but then I decided I had too many cute pictures and had to do a second.  Grandparents love pictures of their grandkids!  I had the collages printed at Costco, then I glued them on card stock paper and Parker added some of his awesome artwork. 

Happy Grandparents Day!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fall Bucket List

Let's face it, Summer is pretty much over.  I consider it Fall once school has started or after Labor day.  It's starting to cool off a little, so its time for my Fall Bucket List.  I enjoy each season, some more than others and some drag on for a little too long, but I love living in a place with four seasons.  I'm looking forward to breaking out my sweaters, jeans and boots, while still enjoying some warmer temps during the day.

Happy Champagne Thursday!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to School

It's that time of year again, time for new markers, glue sticks, backpacks and lunch boxes.  A Spider-Man backpack and Batman lunch box in Parker's case.  Parker had his first day of preschool today, with his new teacher Miss. Kimberly.  We love his school and couldn't be happier where he goes.

Parker cooperated this year and let me take a few 'first day of school' pictures.  Hope he still lets me do this when he is in high school.  I love this kid!

All of these answers are subject to change at anytime.  We filled out a similar questioner for preschool last week and some of his answers were different.  These were the answers he gave me last night.  What 3 year old's favorite treat is mints?  My 3 year old, that's who.

Last years 'First day of School' post and pictures can be found here.

Here's to a great school year!