Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Little Tikes Picnic Table {Redo}

I found an awesome pin quite a while ago on Pinterest. It seemed that people were taking that Little Tikes picnic table that everyone seems to own, but never seems to buy, and "upholstering" it to make it personalized. It looked fairly easy; just unscrew it, clean it up, spray paint the legs, and cover the top and seats with printed vinyl (I later found out it was printed fabric and clear vinyl). I pinned dat joint very quickly and set off trying to find such a table.

There are two main designs of this picnic table. The first is smaller, has 8 screws, and the legs are flush with the top and seats. The second is slightly bigger, has no hardware, and the top and seats sit on top of the legs. Currently the only picnic table being sold new is one with the seats and top sitting on top of the legs and now it has a big umbrella hole and well to hold drinks in the middle- not the best to cover without first cutting some plywood or something to cover the holes up. I thought the first one would be way easier and neater to upholster so I set off looking for that one.

I stalked my local Craigslist for a while and a couple picnic tables came up but all of them had the umbrella hole. I looked on Ebay but they were pretty pricey there, plus shipping. I finally decided on Sunday, while both Ben and Molly were sleeping, to place an ad in the wanted section with a picture of the one I wanted and an asking price of $15. The next day after I returned from work and grocery shopping, I checked my email and I already had a reply. I jumped all over that and within two hours the table of my dreams was mine!

Awwww yeahhhhh! I was over-the-moon excited!

I seriously felt like Ralphie from A Christmas Story every time someone asked me what I wanted for my birthday/etc. "I want a Little Tikes picnic table!"

We met up to exchange the goods in a Target parking lot and I took Ben and Molly with me. Since we were there, Ben decided to go look for a white sheet to get started on our living room rearrangement. We couldn't find one cheaper than $40 so I suggested we visit my favorite fabric store to see if it would be cheaper to get some fabric and sew it to size. It wasn't cheaper, but while there, I pretty much immediately found the perfect fabric to wrap my table with. It was everything I wanted: green, chevrons, and colors that would go well with the legs since I didn't want to spray paint them. Ben actually saw one he liked more that was green with zoo animals on it but I didn't want a fabric with characters on it so I turned it down. It was about $8 a yard but on 40% off and I got two yards as per the instructions. It was plenty and I have lots left over for other projects. Cost me about $11.50.

Since the people working table make small talk when cutting your fabric they always ask what you're making. I told them and even though I wasn't going to buy the vinyl that day (I planned to make this next week) she showed me where it was so I could measure and price check. It comes in lots of thicknesses but I just went with the thinnest and cheapest one, which was 40% off from like $1.99, so when I came back the next day I got it for pocket change of $1.90. Yeeeeaaahhhh!

Yesterday I asked my parents if they would come over to hang out and help me move a bookshelf into my old bedroom so I could finally organize AND to get some help cleaning the legs to my table. Since it was an outdoor toy it was pretty dirty and I was able to wash the top and benches in my kitchen sink but the legs were big enough that I would have had to use the bathtub and because of my back injury (yup, still hurts) I would have had a hard time bending over to scrub them. Well, turns out that blowing out the sprinklers doesn't shut off the hose so I was able to take them into the yard and hose them down. Yay! My dad and I drilled some holes in the bottom of the legs so the water could drain and we decided to make the whole table that day while mom and Kyan attended to Molly.

Taking the table apart was easy. This one has 8 screws that are covered with a bright yellow cover. Each cover had a hinge so I just pried them open with a screwdriver and undid the screws. I decided not to keep the covers so I used some black washers my dad had in the toolbox to make sure I didn't mess anything up with their length. After washing the parts you wrap the top and benches with the fabric and just use a staple gun to fasten it in place. We use 5/16'' staples because it's what we had and, until it randomly broke, my dad used his fancy air stapler on the table top. There are plenty of guides linked in the original blog post I found but it was very simple. Once we got them covered in fabric we went over them again with the vinyl and before long all the pieces were done, the table was reassembled, and the result was fantastic!

Chevrons detail

The angle everyone photographs it from... lol

 Molly "trying it out" and fussing because HELLO G-ma, I am only 3.5 months old! I wanna be held and walked around!
(yes, my dad is laying on the floor fixing my clock... wut's it to ya?)

It looks so good and I'm so happy I didn't have to spray paint the legs!!

So... a quick recap:

Table: $15; craigslist
Fabric: ~$11.50; 2 yards; loads left over
Vinyl: $1.90; 1.5 yards; loads left over
Staple gun w/ 5/16'' staples

Total cost: $27.40... Not bad at all! One of these new was prolly like $60. The one they sell now is about 85 bucks so I got a cool personalized table for way less than original!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Oh Hi!

Hey, I know it's been a while since I posted here. Part of it is because my back injury blew up to epically painful proportions two weeks ago, making me depressed because I couldn't DO anything but most of it is because I am actively Vlogging now. If you have the time to watch my 20-30 minute ramblefests you can go to my channel HERE. I've got to find a happy balance between the two but yeah, that's where I'm at. There's advantages of both but at the moment I do like Vlogging better than Blogging.

Here's pics because it's been a month since I posted!

 I call this her Fish Mouth :3

 Cuddling before getting up (to find out I can't stand up because of my back waa)

She gets more smiley every dayyyy!! (taken before an evening walk :3)

Her eyelashes are growing soooooo loooong!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stuff Happenings

Yesterday was Molly's 8-week appointment, although she's technically not 8 weeks until Sunday. She weighs 10 pounds and 14 ounces and is 22 inches long now. Such a growing girl! I can definitely tell she's heavier and was guessing she was around 11 pounds. Since her last visit I switched doctors from a pediatrician who works at the hospital to my general doctor who works half a mile from my house and can do all of our care no matter our age. Ben just happened to have the day off so he came with. There was lots of paperwork of course and it was stranger than strange to get the automated reminder for MOLLY and not for JULIA.

Because she isn't physically 2 months old yet they didn't do her shots today so I got that scheduled for two weeks from now so on one hand no fussy baby to worry about but on the other hand it's not done and over with yet. She was a little fussy at the appointment but my doctor, who I've seen since I was about 14, was so excited to see her! She was who I went to when I got pregnant the first time so she's known about my difficulty staying pregnant.

I'll post more update-y stuff in another post once she really hits 8 weeks.

Today, as I know well, is the one year "eutha-versary" of my dear Eenie. She still comes up in conversation every day but my heartbreak has healed and she really, truly, "turned into a baby." My arms are filled once again and I am happy. I'm sure she's quite happy in Kitty Heaven. :-)

Last but not least I made a baby name vlog when I got home from work. It's not the best, since a lot of the questions took me a bit off guard as I don't think of names that way a lot, but it was still really fun! A lot of readers may like my answers to the last question. ;D

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Molly's Future Room

I tried filming a room tour for my vlog today but my iphone ran out of space and shut off after 7 minutes. I decided to try again and rush through it but... I'm not a rushy person at all and it was breathless and frazzled as a result. Plus, Molly started crying halfway through because she got hungry so I'll have to use the good camera at another time. This is literally at least the fifth time I've tried doing her room tour and my iphone has said LOLNOPE and shut off halfway every. freaking. time.

So anyway I thought I'd share some thoughts about it. First of all, it was my dad's studio before, we painted the room green with a blue ceiling and accents, blah blah blah. I feel I've written this down here before. I let the guy at Lowe's talk me into getting a gloss paint instead of a matte and I HATE IT!! Augh it looks so wet and made my color choices look so BAD! The blue is almost non-discernible from the green. It's not bad enough for me to fix just yet but bad enough that I've decided that when Molly is a little older I'll let her pick the color of the room {within reason}. Now that I know that it only takes a gallon to do all the walls and maybe half a gallon for the ceiling/accents I'll be able to either A.) afford that myself or B.) have it be a "Christmas present" from someone. I really like painting stuff and maybe Molly can get in on the action as well.

To be honest, I really want to paint it purple. I'm just drawn to purple walls. A light purple to go with the yellow from my old room we still have would look really nice. Either that or Lesko Diamond Green for a real pop of color! At this rate, I'll be painting it before she gets a chance to have a say. XD

In the future I want to install a loft bed sort of thing. I've been seeing these low top bunks that sit over a full mattress below and I really like that. In my mind I'm going to have at least two girls and they will definitely share a room. I want to maximise space but also have lots of actually-functioning storage since that closet is TINY. They'll be folding more than hanging things up, that's for sure. Oh well, I have a long time to worry about that. Hopefully I can convince her to not pick a licensed character theme so that the room will last longer. Unless it's superhero sheets. Those are always cool. :L

While I'm on this topic I kind of want to turn my old bedroom (the one with no insulation) into a craft room (aka- the last bedroom I'd use to put kids). I'd definitely paint that bright green and I kind of want to paint the door like the 3 doors in the lake cabin (even though that would totally not match the green at all LOLZ). We shall see. First it needs to actually be clean. Heh.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Molly's 6 Week Update

Wow! Molly is already 6 weeks old!! She looks more and more like a little girl every day. Sometimes when I look at her she doesn't even look like a baby.

She has her 8 week checkup next week and I'm thrilled to bits that my general doctor who I have been seeing for about 10 years can and will do her care! I'm particularly happy because the building she works in is about half a mile down the street so I can walk there! All I have to do is pop Molly in either her stroller or the sling and we'll be on our way. Much better than the15-minute drive to the hospital. I'm hoping that since it's the same hospital they can transfer her records easily enough but if not I can kind of remember the results. I did finally hear back that her bloodwork is normal which is nice.

Speaking of doctors, I had my final midwife appointment today. Everything down there looks great and I'm cleared to do anything I was doing before. Now I won't see her for a year, either for my annual checkup or when I get pregnant again, whichever comes first. I am on birth control right now but I'm thinking of stopping it in September to get my body ready for being knocked up around Molly's first birthday. She seems to think I have PCOS since I am so irregular and I was like "wait, do I?" and she said she wasn't sure but it takes more than an ultrasound to diagnose. Since I am popping eggs and haven't had any problems getting pregnant (let's remember I got pregnant 3 times in 7 months) she's not worried about looking into it and neither am I.

So, at 6 weeks old, here's what Molly has been up to!
 I started vlogging this year so enjoy the derpy video hahaha 

Random Molly facts as I remember them:

  • She is getting predictable in her sleeping but of course that has gone out the window as she growth spurts lol
  • She eats every 2-5 hours, only one side
  • She has had some impressive spit-ups lately... she's hard to burp! Plus I think she eats too much at times...
  • She still co-sleeps with us:

  • She takes a pacifier and has no problem spitting it out when she's done with it. She mostly takes it at night and it eventually falls out as she sleeps. She'll takes it occasionally during the day but it doesn't stay in long. If I give it to her and she doesn't want it she gets this horribly offended look on her face. XD
  • She is SO CLOSE to finding her hands! She is grabbing onto stuff and pulls her dummy out all the time on accident, or maybe it's on purpose...  She grabs onto my shirt when nursing and loves to claw at her face.
  • She is starting to outgrow her newborn clothes! Some don't fit at all and the others are getting tight!
  • I'd guess she weighs at least 10 pounds. My back is angry with me.
  • Her eyes are a lovely blue right now.
  • She smiles all the time and recognizes her mommy and daddy by looks and voice. :3
  • Kyan decided to tickle her and she smiled sooo big for her! She also smiles for my parents when she is happy. The best is when she smiles when nursing. Sooo cute!
  • She is almost giggling. I can't wait!
  • She will finally sleep on her back or in her bouncy chair for a bit. Yay!
  • I got my wrap! She falls asleep in it when I get it on right. Right now she's too small to have her legs out but too big to sit in it newborn style so I'll wait a few weeks and try it again.
I know she's low but it was the maiden voyage. :P
  • She's starting to coo and squeak and make all kinds of sounds!
  • She's been more fussy lately because she's growth spurting but she's still really mellow and chill. She loves the bath, riding in the car, changing her panties, etc. Sudden loud noises don't bother her at all except the random time a door closing made her jump and she cried... lol
  • She's found her legs and loves to kick!

She's getting so huge!!!

She's got on the same outfit! As a newborn the sleeves were super long and she has on the hospital shirt underneath. At 6 weeks her feet are starting to get squeezed in there!
(I still love that she's eating the straps as a newborn XD)

Peace out!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Reflecting on an Idea

Since I've been laid up on the couch for five weeks now I've found an entertaining game. Let me explain:

Armed with just my computer I decided to start poking around on Google Earth. I picked a random city in California or one I had a tiny connection to, started in a random neighborhood, and rolled dice to determine where to turn and just looked around at what was there. I started tagging things that were interesting to me and, of course, admiring the architecture.

Quickly I learned that, flying over a city, that the most visible and obvious buildings were high schools which quickly led to a game called "Spot the High School." If you want to play, hover over a city so that a few miles are visible and look for a giant track and baseball diamonds. I have found some really cool-looking layouts and designs, let me tell you!

This got me to be all nostalgic and excited again about school, especially since with Ben going to college soon and Molly heading off to school in 5-6 years. Even though I find a lot of school aspects mundane I really do miss it. My dreams could tell you that.

Anyway this leads me to the title and topic of my post. My senior year (Fall 2011) I took this "class." It was hands down the most pointless class I took in college. I talked about it a little bit in this mega post and you can clearly see my opinion of it at the time. Now that two years (only two?? wow!) have gone by and I have been reflecting on my most recent semester of schooling since it's the freshest in my mind, I realized that my attitude about school had totally changed and the source of the change was this very class. Let me explain.

The professor of this class was an older guy with long grey hair and sunglasses, who wore a Berkeley shirt every day. He was a semester away from retiring ("[the department] made that decision for me!") and pretty much told us straight up that he thought this class was pointless and that he really didn't care about how much we were invested in it. He even openly gave us permission to sign the role sheet and then leave if we wanted to. His only requirement was that we kept up with our homework, which was to read a segment of his textbook and give a paragraph essay response to one of the questions, and when our name appeared in red on the role we were to turn in that day's assignment for grading. Since it went in a predictable order, and only four or so homeworks were ever turned in, it was easy to get behind and start doing them when it was about time for it to come around again. I do remember we had to turn them all in at the end so I ground out like 12 responses in a few hours one day.

He also stated that he didn't believe in testing, because we either knew the material or we didn't and testing wasn't a reliable method to him of what we actually understood or learned, so we had no midterm or final. In fact, the only assignment we had other than our homework was a 5-page paper about some ethical problem and we didn't even need sources. Easy peasy.

Anyway let me tell you a bit more about this guy. He had like 7 degrees and never ever stopped taking classes, in fact that year was his first he hadn't taken some sort of course. He loved learning and stressed how important it was to him to keep learning. He even got a degree in the field my mom teaches so he knew her and she knew him. His PhD was in engineering, I believe, and it showed when he graded our essays. They were completely marked up from top to bottom and, being an engineer, he was ingrained to say the most in the shortest space so often the corrections seemed like they were just him rearranging our words into how he would say them, which most of the class didn't find all that helpful. He also hated the random filler stuff that people bulk up their papers with; he wanted us to cut to the chase. Thinking that way helped me to become better at writing, which was a plus since the next semester I had a big paper to do.

Every day he would play a Star Trek clip that was pertinent to the topic of our homework, which was pretty rad. I had no idea Star Trek was such an ethical show! Most were VHS recordings and it was sooo nice to have a professor that actually knew how to work the tech equipment in the room. He also would take one of the graded essays, cover the name, and analyze it on the overhead. I think he did it with mine once actually.

I quickly realized that the lectures had no effect on my homework grade, especially since he lectured about the homework after we did it, so I did leave class every day. However, unknown at the time, Dr H totally changed the way I viewed college. I was really moved by the fact that he loved learning and I began to subconsciously apply that to my attitude. Suddenly I became very interested in what all my professors' thesis was about, what they studied in their upper graduate courses, and even how qualified they were to teach. I began to really notice which teachers were good lecturers, who were better at leading discussions, and all kinds of personality traits I had previously missed. I began to realize that all these classes, whether directly related to my major or not, had plenty of material presented before me and it was up to me to decide what and how much to take away from them. If I hated a class I had to decide if it was because of the instructor, the material, the students, or factors like the time of the class.

Looking back, I find it highly ironic that the class that was, hands down, the most pointless class of my college career information-wise, ended up being the most important because of that goofy professor whose love for learning impressed me. I hope to be able to collect my thoughts and share this attitude with Molly and the rest of my kids. Dr H, thanks for teaching Ethical Dimensions of Technology- not for the material, but so that I could be there to hear your thoughts on education. I'm sorry it took two years to realize just what kind of an impact it made but in retrospect now that I am done with school it sticks out above everything as the most important day/week of my college life.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Molly's One Month Update

Can you believe she is a month old? It's crazy! Only 11 more of these time periods and she'll be a year old. Right now she is actually sleeping in her bouncy seat! Woohoo!

She's changed a lot in the past two weeks.
  • Her cry is changing a ton and now if she is only a *little* upset she makes a quieter little cry. She is also making all kinds of new sounds and sounding like a baby and not a newborn anymore.
  • She is soooo close to finding her hands. She is grabbing onto things although she doesn't know and I swear she can push her binky away when she doesn't want it. Occasionally she uses her arms to prop herself up although I think it's just because her arms happen to be there and not at her sides or whatever. She often catches the underside of her binky and pulls it out.
  • She is so close to sucking her thumb! I hope she does so I can ditch the binky since it falls out really easily.
  • She has started smiling!!!! Real, big, open mouthed, all the way to her eyes, social smiles! She's not super smiley yet but in a few weeks she'll get there and it will be much easier to get it on camera.
Half smile caught on film!
  •  She is getting a lot better at holding up her head! She no longer has it flop behind her when I pick her up although she does best when I pick her up sideways. She has even started to hold herself up with her chest when she is on my chest. So strong! It won't be long before she can hold it up steady. First step to walking, baby!
  • She will sometimes attempt to weight bear when I hold her up. Her legs are strong and she can push up with them when laying on me.
  • She likes tummy time. She mostly gets it when laying on us and is getting stronger by the day.
  • Is still nursing like a pro, although her latch is kind of shallow and she makes that clicking sound when eating. I'm not doing anything about it because as she nurses it fixes itself and she's fine. She hates it when my overfull boobs spray her in the face and if the flow is too fast she lets it pool in her mouth and then spits it out, getting me wet and cold. Lately if she unlatches before she is done and I wait too long to put her back on (usually so I can dry my tit off because she can't latch when it's soaking wet) she starts crying. lol
  • Takes her pacifier and has shown when she wants and doesn't want it. She'll take it the most at bedtime and when she is relaxing or a little fussy. She spits it out when she is done with it. If she doesn't want it she purses her lips, turns her head away, or makes this disgusted and horrified look. lolol
  • Is finally starting to sleep more at night! This morning she went to sleep at midnight and got up at 5, went back to sleep at 6 and slept till 11! Yay! Her times where she is awake and alert are getting longer and more frequent too. Yay!
  • Finally tolerates being on her back. She's too big to sleep on my chest when I am flat on my back so I roll her next to me and she likes that. She'll sleep on her back if she is touching or near us in the bed. She is starting to tolerate being in her bouncy seat for longer and will sleep in it sometimes.
  • In the past few days she has gotten very fussy. I think it's the ~6 week thing I read that they do and she should be back to normal in a week or so. Growth spurt ahead!
  • Using the scale where I weigh with her and without and subtract the two she weighs about 9.5 pounds. I feel it. I pulled my back yesterday because I fail at lifting with my weak legs. :P She's probably close to 2 feet long now.
  • She is in size1 diapers but only because the only newborn kind we have she tends to leak through so I put her back in pampers swaddlers. They're a little big but no leaks yet and they last all night.
  • She's still newborn clothing size but she is starting to fit in her 0-3 clothes a lot more!
  • Still wants to be held all the time. I'm getting a wrap so I can carry her around and be able to walk around and do stuff. Woo!
  • Her hair is thinning out in preps for the real deal to grow in. Her eyes are gaining pigment and are a nice shade of blue for now.
Here's her one month doggie picture:

 So big! She wore this outfit home from the hospital.

As for me, my bleeding has almost stopped (padless for at least a week!), I started taking my birth control Sunday (although it's only like 80% effective), I finished all the prescription stuff I was on, I lost two stitches on the 30th (and my vag feels much better as a result), my belly button has un-popped, my tummy is much flatter, and my back still hurts because it keeps getting messed up. Fun fun. Yesterday I took a shower with Ben for the first time since Molly was born and left her all alone to sleep in our bed. She was crying when we got out but more of a "where did you go??" cry and she stopped when I picked her up. She's growing up!

Also just for fun, I think I cloned myself:
Dat eyebrow thing...
I think she has Ben's eyes and not mine