Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dance Party and a dress

When it gets cold around here during the winter, we break out the trusted dance party to get our energy out.

I haven’t posted much about Bella lately.  I thought this video of Oliver dancing with her, shows her getting to do her favorite thing….spinning!

Bella has been having an off winter.  She is still non-verbal, and always will be, so trying to figure out exactly what is going on has been hard.  To those of you who are new, I thought I would write a quick explanation of Bella.

Bella was born with a chromosome abnormality affecting chromosome 11 and 13.  She is the only one that has this particular makeup that we know of.  Which means we don't have much information on what to expect.   She has extremely low tone all over her body.  Basically meaning anything that has a muscle acts like it is extremely weak.  So this affects being able to sit, move, eat, etc.  She is non-verbal, nor does she have the capacity to use sign language.  We are working on an adaptive form of communication, but we have no way of knowing how far behind she is mentally.  We can tell there is thought process up in that head of hers, it's just really hard to be able to prove it.  It seems that at nine years old, Bella is more like a 6-9 month old.

Our holiday party was postponed due to an impending ice storm back in January.  And can I just say that the whole ice storm just totally threw me off for more than a week.  As I mentioned it was supposed to be a huge ice storm and it had a possibility of hitting early Friday morning.  So they cancelled school on Friday, they cancelled the holiday party on Saturday evening, they even cancelled churches on Sunday.  The ice storm came early Sunday morning and it was minor.
I was supposed to have all the kids out of the house on that Friday so I could have a much needed catch up day.  Then Saturday we had babysitters (grandparents) lined up to come over so we could get out to a much needed time away, not to mention what should have been a good party. 
Instead all of the kids were home on Friday.  On Saturday we did not get out to our party, nor even out of the house for that matter.  On Sunday my husband had to work all day, so again I had the kids stuck inside the house.  On Monday it was a holiday from school AND AGAIN all the kids were home and stuck inside the house. 

I think it took more than the next week to get my sanity back.  Also, if I’m being honest here, my house still hasn’t recovered.  I just haven’t had to energy to pick up after the kids anymore.
My “real job” has picked up and I’ve been working enough hours that we have justified putting Gray in school.  Here she is going off to school for her first day.
She has really enjoyed going to school and the first week she did great.  This is her second week and she is a little more hesitant to leave, instead wanting to stay home with mom.  I think it’s been great for her to get to play with kids her own age.

Our holiday party did get rescheduled and occurred this past weekend.  Even with the three week extension on making the dress, I was still running behind and finished it up on Saturday with only hours to spare.
I may have sewn the bodice twice.  The first time I got the dress all finished, tried it on, and ….blaahh.  The top just wasn’t right.  So I took the bodice all apart and modified it to look a little less school marmish, but still keeping things covered up.
I meant to get pictures of us all dressed up.  The party location was at the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum.  Would have been a great spot for pictures.  Zero were taken.  I guess that just shows you we were having such a great time we forgot to take pictures.

And here is side by side of the inspiration photo, so you can see how it turned out.  The fabric I used for my dress I had purchased 6 years ago.  In fact I had already cut out the pieces to make another dress that was similar.  And as much as I wanted the lace trimmed sleeves, I just didn’t have enough fabric for them.  I did like the dress I made, and may someday make another one out of black lace.  I think I have all the kinks worked out!
IMG_4301cocktail dress2

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

In Progress

We got hit with a major "weather story" ice storm a couple weekends ago.  I say that because the ice storm was predicted but did not come to fruition, at least not as much as they claimed it would.  What it did do.  It canceled school and it also canceled our holiday party.  The holiday party has been rescheduled and I am still slowly working on my new dress.

The other new project we have been working on around here is our basement stairs.  And my we I mean my husband has been doing more of the working and I have been watching the kiddos and trying to keep them out of his way.

Here are the stairs as they currently stand.  All primed and ready to go.

Now the question is.....where to go from here.  I have a few ideas and my husband has an idea of his own.

My husband would like them to stay all white, matching the trim color, and then adding either a runner or carpet stair treads.

And if I can find the right runner for the right price....I'm on board.  But I also want to look at just painting the stairs.
Here are some examples where the runner would be painted.

Or you could paint the risers either in different colors or using some type of pattern.

So for now we sit with primed stairs, just waiting for a decision.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Holiday Party Dress

My husband's work holiday party always occurs in January.  Next weekend to be exact.  I think it's about time I made something again.  I have a few ideas and I would like your input.  I will need to start working on it ASAP.

Choice #1 A little lace dress

I purchased this white lace and black chiffon material over 6 years ago intending to make a dress.  I have even cut out some of the pieces.  I would like to make a dress similar to this one using the black and white material I already own.

Choice #2 Long chiffon dress with pleather accents
I have this existing chiffon dress I have worn a few times.  I would like to use some pleather I already own, yes cat woman costume, and change it into something similar to this dress.

Choice #3 Structured pleather top with metallic skirt
I have owned this dress for quite awhile.  I bought it right after having Oliver, therefore having some extra baby weight.  It needs to be taken in to ever wear again, so why not change it up by adding something structured on top to look like the inspiration dress.

Or go the opposite direction with the same dress and make it more flowy, but still adding structure to the top.

Which would you choose?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Kitchen Reveal

The kitchen.  The heart of the home.  We worked on this space for well over a year and it's time to show off all our hard work.

I had to dig pretty deep to find some old pictures of the kitchen.  The walls were originally painted an orange-yellow.  Once we moved in, we used some left over paint and changed the wall color to brown.  It stayed that way for 6 years.  The kitchen was not the worst room in the house.  There was plenty of storage space.  The main problem was that it did not function.  The majority of the appliances were slowly breaking down and there was no counter space.

So let's see the before and after photos and then we can talk a little bit about what we did if you are still following along.

Looking into the main part of the kitchen:

Picture taken before we moved in.  Gratuitous picture of my mom.

Picture taken during one of the many phases of trying to make the kitchen work

Our new kitchen

Looking at the door to the back deck and family room:

Picture taken before we moved in.
A few years into owning our house.
Sliding door changed to single door to accommodate refrigerator.

Looking into family room where we removed the column.  Real children playing in background.

Looking at kitchen sink/window and oven/stove corner:

Original double oven feature was nice, but so skinny I couldn't use half my sheets or baking dishes.

We went with a slide in range that still has a double oven feature.

We also went with a counter top/built in microwave.  I love that it is no longer above the stovetop.

Looking into the kitchen from the front door:

Taken before we moved in.

Probably my least favorite fix as now you look at our refrigerator instead of the back deck.

We definitely gutted this kitchen down to the studs in order to change the layout as much as we did.

 We moved the refrigerator across the room and replaced the double sliding door with a single patio door.

We removed the soffits and widened the opening to the dining room.  Found out we had faulty wiring to our oven.  Had to figure out how to vent the new exhaust hood.  And added a lot of additional lighting.  I was told I was crazy by my loving husband and had too many lights.  I still stand by my decision.

 We went with IKEA cabinets and counter tops (quartz).  I love them and highly recommend them.  I was able to put the majority of the cabinetry together myself.  Jesse and I installed them and I would say the only reason it was tricky was because we were going all the way up to the ceiling and our ceiling was not level.  The majority of the other products all came from Home Depot, whether in store or online only.

And lastly I want to thank my husband for all his hard work in making my dream kitchen come true.  He worked so many hours on this project.  I love you.

I shared my project here: Thrifty Decor Chick Best of 2016

Monday, January 2, 2017

It's been an eternity

It's been an eternity.  Let's see, I last posted 6 months ago.  That made the total for the year - 4 posts.

The truth is, I lost my creativity.  I lost all my energy.  I lost my determination to get past pinning things or looking at things.  I didn't make anything.  I didn't want to cook anything.  I just wanted to sleep ALL THE TIME.

I have stresses in my life.  Everyone does.  My youngest two have displayed extreme sibling rivalry for over a year.  As in near constant screaming, crying, hitting, biting, whining.  I was losing my sanity.  I will admit since Oliver started Kindergarten this fall, it is finally getting better.  And I need it to get better.

My oldest has many needs.  As in she can not do anything for herself and needs a constant caretaker.  We do not have any help for her outside of her going to public school.  She does not have many medical needs, which is a blessing, but it is getting harder and harder for us to take her places.  She has a wheelchair or stroller, but honestly prefers to laying on the floor most of the time.  This basically translates to - if she is not in school, either my husband or I am at home with her.  I was going to say "stuck at home" which is what I do feel, but it sounds so harsh.

I have not been working outside of the home as much this past year.  I have had more of a stay at home mom role.  Let's just say, it's not my ideal job, but I'm getting through it.  I still have hopes of having a professional career.  Although with my eldest child's needs, it will only be a part time career at best.  It's a constant battle trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, versus what is best for my kids and husband.  I know there has to be an answer somewhere!

My interests are expanding.  I still love home renovation and home decor.  I still like the idea of sewing and making things.  Lately my energy and time has been spent on nutrition.  As I mentioned above I had lost all my energy.  I blamed it on my having three kids, one with special needs.  I'm beginning to think that while they definitely add "work" to my life, they are not the sole reason for my lack of energy.

I'm still in the process of figuring it all out.

I can tell you that I miss talking about things.  I miss creating things and sharing things.  I miss this blog.

I hope to start over and begin a new life that is finding the calm amidst the crazy.

Mid-December we had a family baking day.  We made sugar cookies...all day long.  Mom and Dad did most of the work.

The kids ate.  At least they started with apples before they moved on to the baked cookies.

Happy New Year to everyone from our crazy bunch.  Here's hoping we talk more often this year!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Hello.  We are now at the halfway point for summer.  We really haven't been doing too much this summer.  Just playing around the house.  Oliver has lots of impromptu pool parties, which involves a baby pool and sprinkler, and lots of water torture for Gray.

It was also Oliver's first year to really experience lighting off small fireworks.

We have also been enjoying some bounce house fun.

And the family favorite....corn on the cob.
And Swinging outside!

Hope you all are enjoying your summer!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Family Room

This week Jesse and I celebrated our 11th year of marriage.  Instead of a tropical vacation we were busy with the continuation of our kitchen project.  

My husband loves me when I make statements like: while we are painting and tiling in the kitchen, doesn't it make sense to take it all the way into the family room?
And while it does make sense, it's adding another huge room to our never ending project and a lot of work.
Yep only feelings of love for me when I do that to him!

So here is where our kitchen progress has gotten us.
And now if you turn the other direction you can see the family room progress.
Jesse took the whole week off and we even had grandparents watching the kiddos so we could attempt finishing this room.  It's the end of the week and we are not done.  But then again I'm not sure any home improvement projects ever get done on time or within budget.

So we will keep slowly plugging along.