Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pregnacy Update

I'm on official, doctor ordered bed rest. I have been for over a week, since I saw my doctor following my trip to Labor and Delivery from when I fainted at church. With my history of HELLPs pre-eclampsia with my first and a premature at 32 weeks birth because of severe pre-eclampsia with my second, my doctor's not taking any chances. My blood pressure is creeping up and while not yet at an emergency level yet, I have to stay in bed to keep it from going higher. I am 34 weeks, 2 days today. I'm going in twice a week for BP checks with my doctor and my blood is getting drawn once a week to make sure my liver isn't shutting down and failing like it did with Builder Boy. Have I mentioned before that I have a needle phobia? Yeah......

Thankfully I have a wonderful lady from our new church who is getting me to my appointments this week and who is watching the boys during the appointments so I don't have to worry about that. She's a homeschooler, too, and since she has a few boys who are older than mine I hope I can pick her brain and learn a lot from her. Also I have a family member who is coming up to stay with us to help out. I am so very grateful for the support, both physical and emotional, that we have been receiving, and the prayers. I've told God what it is I want for this pregnancy, but like last time I'm leaving it in His hands and His plans. Just 5 more weeks before my scheduled c-section!

School-wise, I've almost given up on finishing anything this summer. Space School is not something I can do from the bed. But I started something for L2R to R2L that I'm going to blog about soon that I can do from bed, and I signed Builder Boy up for a free trial of Dreambox so I'll be reviewing that in a week or so. (I am so grateful we got a laptop computer. I was against it in the beginning, but I'm not sure how I'd survive bed rest without it!) I also want to finish my follow up review of Reading Eggs and what my kids got out of it. So I'm going to keep blogging; it might end up preserving my sanity. But here's something I've figured out:

Bed rest was clearly invented by a man; a woman would know that there is no way a pregnant woman should be allowed this much free time to think/worry/obsess over every little thing that is happening to her!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Daughter, You're Worth all the Hassle

Dear Unborn Daughter,

I have to say out of the three pregnancies I've experienced, being pregnant with you has been the most difficult. The five straight months of puking, the month of not being able to walk, and now a second trip to the Labor and Delivery section of the hospital for fainting at church.

But I also have to say that you're worth it; all of it. We longed for you and prayed for you before you were even conceived. No matter how you turn out or who you grow up to be, you are worth all the trouble, stress, and sickness. You are loved without ever having to do anything but exist. And I wanted to let you know now, in case something happens, that you are worth it all, and I love you.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Homemade Play Kitchen: Stovetop and Counter

My original plan called for an oven door below the stove. That didn't end up happening. But the boys never noticed that anything was "missing" from their kitchen. Most play kitchens that I researched when I was planning this project also included sinks. My past experience showed that my boys would not use a sink enough to justify the work that would involve. Also, on most of those kitchens with sink there is no counter space. Preparing the food is half of the fun of pretending to cook. Where exactly where were they suppose to prepare the food with no counter space? Especially since I had purchased for another one of Early Bird's Christmas presents a Cuttable Fruit set. So leaving out the oven door and a sink, I was able to complete this project with NO cutting and NO drilling the particle board, which kept the price really low and manageable.

6 months later
For the stove top, I used regular acrylic paint and painted on burners. Unfortunately, that didn't hold up very well. When I eventually find my paint I'm going to re-paint the burners and then cover that part of the kitchen with contact paper and see if that stays on well.

Little Star Detail

I thought the curtains under the sinks in the play kitchens I found on Pinterest were super cute. I didn't have a sink, but that didn't mean I couldn't have an under-counter curtain! Keeping in mind that I was going for cheap, fast/low effort, and no-sew, I purchased a blue washcloth at Walmart ($0.50?) that was the perfect size for my space. I used puffy fabric paint to add a star decal to the washcloth, purely for decoration. On the back of the washcloth I used cheap ribbon (already had some, but you can get it at Walmart for $1) and fabric glue to make four strips to hang the curtain from.

I found the wooden dowel in the painting/craft section in Walmart for less than $1, and the adhesive hooks in the picture hanging section (I think?) in housewares for less than $2/6-8 hooks. The small dowel turned out to be the perfect diameter for the hooks, so they are stuck quite firmly in place. The dowel was too long for the space, and I didn't have a hand saw, so I used my PVC pipe cutter and it worked just fine.

And that's all it took! I can't remember (six months later) how long it took to finish this project, but, not including waiting for the paint and glue to dry, it took very little total time! It took more time for me to walk around Walmart and find all the pieces for the various parts of the kitchen since my list was vague and unorganized than it did for me to put it all together. The boys love it and Early Bird plays with it a lot. Since the pieces aren't all stuck together it survived the move extremely well. This whole project cost me less than $20 for everything (because I already had the shelving units.)
If you haven any questions about the process or if I left something out, leave a comment and I'll answer your question to the best of my memory.

If you made a play kitchen of your own based or inspired by any of these ideas, please let me know so I can share what you did!

Here's a link to my Homemade Play Kitchen Pinterest Board for other ideas that inspired me and some play food ideas that I still want to try someday.

Homemade Play Kitchen: Aprons

You can't have a play kitchen without aprons! (Okay, well, apparently you can, as my boys almost never use these, but I thought I had to make some, so I did.) I found a blue denim apron at the thrift store for $1.50. Score! But I have two kids, so I needed two aprons. I already had an idea for an easy to make, no-sew/little-sew apron, so while I was at the thrift store I looked at fabric place mats and found one I liked that would work as an apron for $0.50.

(I thought I took more pictures during the apron making process, but if I did, I can't find them.) The only other things I used for this project were some wide green ribbon I picked up at Walmart for (I think?) $1.00, and some Fray Check, fabric glue, and some Velcro Dots that I already had.

I ended up making this apron with a lot of "growing room." I thought about making the neck strap adjustable with Velcro, but decided it would probably be easier for the boys to just slip it over their heads, so I made it with enough room to do so. I cut the ribbon, fray checked the ribbon ends, and then glued and tacked (sewed on with just two stitches) the neck strap ribbon to the top of the place mat/apron.

For the waistband I measured the ribbon, again leaving plenty of growing room, fray checked the ends after cutting it, and then used fabric glue to affix the ribbon/waistband along the front of the apron. I used the sticky Velcro Dots on the ends so that it could easily secured (I wanted something that Early Bird could do on his own,) and that was that!

It's Reversible!
Green Side

Homemade Play Kitchen: The Pantry Shelves

The pantry really didn't need anything added to it. I put sticky hooks on the side for the kid aprons. At the dollar store I found two blue baskets that look a lot like shopping baskets, and some small bowls, cups, and a baby spoons/forks/knifes set (four of each.)

Hooks (Command brand bought at Walmart)-$3
2 Baskets-$2
Set of 6 cups-$1
2 sets of 3 bowls-$2
Set of plastic forks, knifes, and spoons (four of each)-$1
$9.00 (not counting tax)

Homemade Play Kitchen: The Refrigerator

I searched the dollar store, thrift stores, and finally Walmart and I found these plastic baskets: a set of three for less than $2. They are almost perfect. I measured them against the measured paper I took shopping with me and they were the right size but the corners catch a little bit when you try to close the door. I finally figured out with the last one to keep it from catching, position the basket slightly more towards the hinge rather than perfectly centered.

I hung them on adhesive hooks (no drilling!) which I got at Walmart for about $2/2 hooks, so total price for the refrigerator baskets and hanging them was $8.

I found a magnetic floor vent cover that I had hoped to turn into an area for refrigerator magnets on the door, but it didn't work out the way I'd hoped, and it wasn't strong enough.

Early Bird likes having different shelves and baskets in the fridge because that means he can sort his play food by food group.

I was going through old drafts of blog posts that I'd never finished or posted and found my plans for sharing what I did to make the play kitchen that was Early Bird's Christmas present. I'm not up to doing much, but I can finish these up at least....
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